Germany's K130 corvette construction award violates public procurement law, says tribunal


The planned award of a contract by the unified armed forces of Germany, Bundeswehr, for the development of five additional Type K130 corvettes to the previous contractor has been found to violate public procurement law.

The decision has been taken by the first Public Procurement Tribunal at the Bundeskartellamt, which is an independent competition authority that has accepted the application for review filed by an undisclosed company based in Kiel.

Bundeskartellamt president Andreas Mundt said: “The principle that procurements have to be made through competition also applies to military equipment.

“Exceptions are only possible under very strict conditions, for which in the present case there was insufficient evidence.”

The decision comes after the Kiel-based company complained to the tribunal about the planned award by the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) in negotiated procedures without inviting other companies to participate in the award process.

"The tribunal opined that sufficient proof was not provided to support the claim that only the previous contractor would be able to reproduce the ships within the required period."

BAAINBw notes that the award procedure was necessary only as the bidding consortium, which had already supplied the Type K130 corvettes to the Bundeswehr in the past and was capable of supplying the additional vessels within the given timeframe.

However, the tribunal opined that sufficient proof was not provided during the review process to support the claim that only the previous contractor would be able to reproduce the ships within the required period.

The Public Procurement Tribunal's decision is not final and can be appealed to the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court within a two-week period.

The contract can be awarded only after a competition is organised if the court confirms the tribunal’s decision.


Image: Type K130 corvette. Photo: courtesy of Ein Dahmer.