Author: Olga Diaconu
The full original version can be accessed here
AGER monitors realized that public procurement contracts for road repair works concluded by the State Roads Administration continue to have a warranty period of only one year starting from the completion of the works, regardless of the money paid for the repairs. Another clause in the contracts signed by the “State Roads Administration” provides that, if the contractor performs works with deviations from the specification, contract and/or normative documents, he would be obliged to remedy them exclusively throughout the term of delivery and throughout the warranty term. This implies that the contractor would only be obliged to remove the defects related to non-compliance with the contract clauses only for a term of one year from the completion of the works.
The very loose warranty terms allow contractors to use poor quality materials and/or carry out works deviating from the specifications and regulatory documents, as they would only be held accountable for the quality of the works within one year of their completion. Therefore, it suffices to make sure that the newly rehabilitated road would last for one year. After this term expires, all deviations would be remedied at the expense of the contracting authority.
The provisions outlined above are part of all the contracts concluded between December 2021 and January 2023 from budgetary resources, made available by the “State Road Administration”.
At the time of the conclusion of most of the contracts, the legislation of the Republic of Moldova did not prescribe a minimum warranty term for the repair works. On October 22, 2022, new amendments to the legal framework on quality in construction entered into force, prescribing a minimum compulsory warranty term of 5 years. However, even contracts signed after October 22, 2022, have a warranty term of only one year from the moment that works are completed.
Among the contracts concluded after October 22, 2022, neglecting the minimal compulsory warranty terms were the contract for the procurement of access road development works to the Chisinau Polyvalent Arena, as well as the contract of January 26, 2023, for the procurement of repair works for the bridge crossing on M5 Border with Ukraine-Criva-Balti-Chisinau-Tiraspol-border with Ukraine, km 264,790. Anyway, even for the contract concluded before October 26, 2022, it was unacceptable to request a warranty term of one year, since the amendments had been adopted a few months earlier, and they could not have been unknown to the contracting authority.
The term of one year is insufficient to highlight all deviations from the technical specifications and applicable norms for the respective works. It is already known that, in most road repair works in the Republic of Moldova, defects are found shortly after the works are received. Under these conditions, the contracting authority is deprived of the right to request the contractor to remove the defects that occurred after one year from the final reception and the need for additional investments of public money for repairs or any other interventions may arise shortly after the completion of the works. Although, as of October 22, 2022, when the changes to the Construction Quality Law regarding the five-year post-handover warranty period came into force, it remains to be seen whether these provisions would be taken into account in the future. Otherwise, the risk of waste or inefficient use of public money will persist. At the same time, non-compliance with the clauses regarding the warranty terms can disguise certain favors brought to some contractors who would not have to take very large sums of money out of their pockets to remedy the defects of the works.
Acest material este realizat în cadrul proiectului ”Banii Publici sunt și Banii Mei!”, implementat de Asociația pentru Guvernare Eficientă și Responsabilă AGER cu susținerea financiară din partea National Endowment for Democracy (NED).