Poland: Progress achieved, but not yet sufficient

19 December 2016

FIEC and EIC call upon the Polish Government to guarantee better efficiency and certainty to the construction industry.

“We appreciate the progress that has been achieved over the past year in terms of contract administration of road projects as confirmed also in the experts’ meetings launched by the Polish Government in July 2016”. This was the conclusion of Ulrich Paetzold, Director General of FIEC, the European Construction Industry Federation, as he came out of a meeting with leading Polish consulting engineers and construction companies organised in Warsaw last week. “It’s a pity, however, that solutions which took years to achieve by the Polish Road Agency, GDDKiA and the industry are not being used by the Polish Railway Agency, PKP/PLK”, adds Frank Kehlenbach, Director of European International Contractors. “This will probably lead yet again, to massive claims and disputes and later on to bankruptcies and job losses in the construction sector”.

The combination of poorly prepared tenders for railroad projects, in particular incomplete and flawed technical specifications, and unfairly modified FIDIC contract conditions, which do not comply with generally accepted international standards, are likely to result in low efficiency of the national construction investment programmes in the railroad sector. In addition, current figures indicate major reductions in infrastructure investment, whereas there is a real need for such investment, in order not to put future positive developments at risk. If not rectified quickly, this development is likely to end up in an eventual backlog which the capacities of the administration and the construction industry cannot handle. Moreover, bidding for several huge contracts at the same time, with the amount of work generated by the tender procedures, will result in poor quality tenders, leading to claims and disputes in future. This has already been observed in recent months and this is not a solution for efficient spending of EU funds, which are likely to be lost or wasted.

FIEC and EIC therefore call upon the Polish Minister for Infrastructure, Mr. Adamczyk, to guarantee better efficiency and certainty to the construction industry and to provide the tools for optimising project preparation to make the best use of Polish and EU funds. We fully support the calls of the Polish construction and consulting federations to eventually launch a National Construction Forum to deal with all the unresolved questions which have been identified by so many expert reports over the last years. We are also ready to help solve these issues.