Under the TACIS 1994-1996 budgets, the European Commission (EC) and the Russian and Kazak authorities were collaborating on a programme to improve the safety of Russian and Kazak nuclear installations. This programme involved numerous equipment supplies and a Procurement Agent had been contracted to manage the procurement procedure under contracts 22975, 24309 and 25071.
The process of introducing EU design concepts and EU safety-related equipment on Russian and Kazak nuclear power plants proved to be technically and institutionally more complex than originally anticipated. As a result, the programme incurred some delays that were not attributable to the PA, and the Commission services sought to extend the aforementioned contracts in order to honour the commitments that had been made toward the recipients of the programme. Addenda prolonging the duration of the contracts were prepared.
It was, however, additionally necessary to consider the extra tasks (and related costs) that were implied by such an extension of the contracts and that could not have been foreseen by the Contractor on the basis of the original Terms of Reference. The new tasks were of two kinds:
- Periodically repeated tasks, implying recurring costs proportional to the duration of the contract.
- New tasks, introduced by the Commission to accelerate the procurement process.
The tasks to be performed by the PA were as follows:
- Periodically repeated tasks
- Production of monthly reports
The PA was required to:
- maintain a regular contact with all on-site utilities and other contractors, as appropriate;
- each month, update all relevant information concerning project implementation and produce a report including:
- a full and detailed description of all activities performed by the PA (including the meetings detailed below);
- the state of advancement of each project;
- a report on the expenditure incurred and an updated cash flow projection;
- an updated procurement planning with the relevant dates of all milestones from Technical specifications to Final Acceptance;
- recommendations about the development of the procurement activities.
- each month, forward by courrier a report with the above information to the specified recipients.
On-Site coordination meetings in Brussels
The PA was requested to attend meetings organised by the Commission services around three or four times a year, in Brussels, for the coordination of the on-site assistance programme.
Meetings with utilities and suppliers
Contacts with utilities and potential suppliers were required as part of the Procurement Agent's activities, but travel for meetings with these participants in the programme was not foreseen in the PA's original contracts.
The Commission considered such meetings to be useful in order to accelerate the implementation of the programme, particularly during the finalisation of Technical Specifications and during Contract Negotiations. Accordingly, the PA was allowed to invoice the cost of travel for such meetings (flights and DSAs). The PA's time spent on these meetings was not to be invoiced under the present contract, as it was part of the procurement activities specified in the original contracts.
Missions to the Beneficiary country
The programme beneficiaries indicated a need for greater transparency regarding the procurement process. Accordingly the PA was requested to visit the Beneficiary country twice a year to explain the state of implementation of the procurement plan and the procedural issues involved.