The dispute over the controversial water contract of the San Javier Town Hall continues following the award of the tender to Aqualia. A day after the celebration of the municipal plenary in which the 247 million contract has been assigned, it has been learned that the proceedings opened by the Prosecutor’s Office following the complaint of the party of San Javier Pleamar are focused on the participation of the consultant Ingeagua in the tender called to contract the supply of drinking water and sewerage service for the next 20 years. The prosecutor points out that in the reported facts she sees “indications” of a possible crime of prevarication.
The Consistory of San Javier has approved this Tuesday the award of the contract to the company Aqualia with the votes of the PP, the abstention of Vox and the vote against the PSOE, Pleamar and Mixed Group. Once the company has submitted the necessary documentation, the municipal government will take the definitive award to the company to which the contracting committee awarded the highest score to an ordinary plenary session.
Pleamar, which has two councillors in San Javier, wants the awarding of the tender to be postponed until the proceedings of the Cartagena Public Prosecutor’s Office are concluded, but the mayor, José Miguel Luengo, assures that there is no reason to continue waiting, according to the explanations given by the municipal auditor in the extraordinary plenary session held on Tuesday.
The investigation was initiated as a result of the complaint filed by Pleamar last May, which included information published in some digital media linking the awards won by Aqualia in tenders held in different cities with the presence of the consultancy Ingeagua in the bidding processes won by the company.
According to the prosecutor in charge of the investigation in the decree initiating the proceedings, this consultancy firm “not only drew up the conditions of the contract, but also assessed the proposals submitted. Its client, Aqualia, obtained the highest score in the subjectively evaluable technical criteria, 49 points out of a possible 49 in all the subjectively evaluable sections by its own consultancy”, he specifies.
He also refers to the municipal decision to maintain Aqualia’s bid in the tender, despite having submitted a proposal “that exceeds the limit of recklessness by 16 million” and which is “56% above the rest of the bidders”, and to the claims presented by the current concessionaire, Hidrogea, to be excluded from the process. It also points to the municipal official who decided Ingeagua’s participation in the tender and concludes that the accusations made can be considered as “indications of a possible crime of prevarication”.
The mayor of San Javier maintains that the Public Prosecutor’s Office has limited itself to “requesting documentation from the City Council, which is in the profile of the contracting party, but has not paralysed the procedure or established any type of measure”, so he sees no reason to put it on hold. Luengo maintains that the procedure “has been transparent” and points out that, if any objection were to be made, “it would be paralysed”.