Stadler is to appeal against the Austrian Federal Administrative Court’s decision to nullify a contract the Austrian Federal Railways (OEBB) had awarded the Swiss rolling stock manufacturer.
This was for the manufacture and delivery of up to 186 double-decker multiple units.
The court declared the award null and void due to an alleged formal error regarding an electronic signature – an issue raised by competitor Alstom.
The result of this case means that the OEBB has revoked the award and is now re-tendering the framework agreement.
The original tendering process began back in 2019 and lasted for more than two years. Upon competition, the OEBB rated Stadler’s as the commercially and technically best offer and awarded it the contract.
According to Stadler, the signature used fulfils the Austrian procurement law requirement of a qualified electronic signature.
The company highlighted that this signature has been used hundreds of times when participating in tenders in the EU and multiple offers signed this way were won in the past – including an order from OEBB for the delivery of rescue trains in January 2021.
According to the Austrian Public Procurement Act, errors such as signatures can be corrected retrospectively and Stadler is disappointed that the OEBB has restarted the tender rather than correct the error.
The manufacturer says the latter would have enabled a timely conclusion of the tender it had already won and the project to manufacture and deliver the double-decker multiple units could already have been underway.
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