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Leniency Notice to disclose a Cartel Scheme within Public Procurements



On 24 October, the Competition Council (CC) of Latvia has found that two construction companies operated in a bid rigging. The investigation was carried out based on a Leniency notice submitted by one of the cartel participants, therefore the very undertaking received immunity from fine for revealing the existence of the cartel to the CC. The fine was set to the other cartel participant, as well as its initiator - SIA „RCI Gulbene” – in the amount of EUR 125 001.32.

Both undertakings within three public procurements, worth a total of EUR 684 770, had mutually agreed to exclude competition. Two of the procurements were organised by farms, the third – by the municipal school. The EU funds were acquired in all procurements mentioned above.

The cartel was implemented by one undertaking submitting its desired estimate, while the other undertaking – an artificially increased estimate. In two of procurements SIA „RCI Gulbene” did win.In one of procurements the order did get the other undertaking, although the 100 % of the actual construction work were transferred to SIA „RCI Gulbene” as a subcontractor. For such cooperation SIA „RCI Gulbene” paid its competitor a fee in the amount of 3% of procurements’ contract price.

The infringement was investigated after a Leniency notice from a cartel participant. Therefore the very infringement marks the history of the CC and Latvia as the first infringement to be revealed after the Leniency notice.