Winning a tender in public transport in the IJssel and Vecht regions has been partly fraudulently established. This also applies to the purchase of electric buses by the winner of the tender, transport company Keolis, sources report to research platform Follow the Money.
Keolis, originally French, won a tender worth 900 million euros for public bus transport in parts of Gelderland, Overijssel and Flevoland last year. But the carrier would be called side letters have a contract with, among others, the Chinese bus builder BYD. Such side letters contain secret agreements between the parties.
According to FTM, they had the specific goal of winning the tender. The Chinese companies would not face fines or lawsuits if they failed to fulfill their delivery guarantees on hundreds of electric buses. Part of the tender was that the provider is going to supply ‘zero-emission transport’, so Keolis really needed the electric buses.
The documents surfaced in early March. They are labeled ‘fraudulent’ by Keolis and hired consultants. One of the directors concerned, whose signatures are under the side letters, has been suspended due to the matter.
In response to his website, Keolis writes that not everything went according to the rules. “Keolis thinks it has discovered irregularities in its tender for the IJssel-Vecht tender and has informed the client about this. Keolis distances itself from any unethical behavior and will take appropriate measures.”
Outrage arose over the tender in December, as the Dutch VDL was passed. Owner Wim van de Leegte said that because of the outsourcing of the Netherlands, “800 man-years of work, excluding outsourced work and research and development at suppliers and knowledge institutions” is missing. State Secretary Keijzer of Economic Affairs subsequently announced an investigation into the state of affairs in the tender.
Carrier Keolis said at the time that it had not opted for VDL because of the higher price and because there was no guarantee that the buses would be delivered on time.