Companies Close to the Mayor of Istočno Sarajevo Ljubiša Ćosić are Building a Park within the “Srbija” Hospital Compound – Medical Staff Leaving

Following the departure of two doctors and six medical workers and technicians from the “Srbija” hospital, the Trade Union of Medical Nurses and Technicians of Republika Srpska appealed for “urgent action to prevent further outflow of qualified medical staff”. However, the relevant ministry has no solution, while the City of Istočno Sarajevo is borrowing money to build a Park of Serbian Healthcare Giants within the hospital compound. Over half a million for the mayor’s friends.

 

Written by: Sanja Vasković

 

The tender for the procurement of works on the construction of the Park, worth 600,000 BAM, half of which is loans, was announced four months ago. The procurement is divided into two lots – construction works and works on the construction of lighting.

 

At the end of March, the contractors were selected. Two bids were received for the first lot – construction works, the company “GP Put” Istočna Ilidža and the group of bidders “Uniotec-Zvornikputevi”. At the scheduled e-auction, the bidders did not even show up. The award criterion for the contract was the lowest price, so the choice was easy. The job was awarded to the companies “Uniotec-Zvornikputevi” for 442,292 KM including VAT.

“UNIOTEC” – Company’s Revenue Increased by Four Million in One Year

 

While the “Zvornikputevi” company has long been known for its good cooperation with the authorities, the “UNIOTEC” company has experienced a sudden boom in recent years thanks to the contracts it started receiving from the City of Istočno Sarajevo and the Municipality of Istočno Novo Sarajevo, and later from other public institutions as well. Thus, from a modest investment of 54,000 KM, the cost of building a playground in Tvrdimići, by 2022, with an average of one worker, the company recorded a revenue of almost three million KM, which sharply increased to as much as 7,560,000 KM, according to data from the Akta.ba portal, the total revenue of this company last year. The number of employees has also increased, from one to 14. The director of the company is Slobodan Sladoje.

 

“UNIOTEC” is a good partner of Mayor Ljubiša Čosić and the municipality head Jovan Katić

 

Our journalists were on the field. The construction works on the Park of Great Figures of Serbian Healthcare have not yet even begun.

 

 

And the question is when, considering that UNIOTEC has still not completed previously initiated projects, primarily in the municipality of Istočno Novo Sarajevo, led by Jovan Katić, from which it has received 1,637,240 KM in just two years plus four million in credit funds planned for the construction of a swimming pool in this municipality, which will operate with two other companies. From the City of Istočno Sarajevo and Mayor Ćosić, this company has received nearly half a million, specifically 489,631 KM, through tenders in two years, as well as an additional 2.2 million KM for the construction of the Memorial Complex in “Sunce” Park, which this company obtained without a tender, through the Veterans Organization INS, as our portal previously reported. For this, no one has been held accountable, except for Mayor Ljubiša Ćosić, who later attacked our journalist for writing about this topic.

 

It is not negligible to mention that this company received around 160,000 KM from the Public Utility Company “Waterworks and Sewerage” of Istočno Sarajevo for performing certain works, and often these are direct agreements up to 6,000 KM for which no tender is issued. We note that the current mayor of the municipality of Istočno Novo Sarajevo, Jovan Katić, came to this position after serving as the director of this waterworks company.

 

The business of this company is slowly expanding to Trnovo, Kalinovik, and now Foča, where “UNIOTEC” will build a Nursing Home worth two and a half million KM. Interestingly, these are municipalities with SNSD mayors.

 

 

We return to the construction of the Park within the Public Institution “Hospital Serbia”. The second lot, which involves the lighting in the park, will be carried out by the company “Proinžinjering” LLC Istočno Sarajevo.

 

The situation is identical: two companies applied for the tender, but no one appeared at the e-auction. Consequently, the job was awarded to “Proinžinjering” LLC with the lowest bid, amounting to 157,306 KM including VAT. This company is also recognizable for receiving contracts from the City of Istočno Sarajevo.

 

The owner of the company, according to official records, is Jovana Maletić.

 

Jovana’s husband is Igor Maletić, the Executive Director of the Department for Measurement and Customer Relations at the Mixed Holding “ERS” – MP Inc. Trebinje – ZP “Elektrodistribucija” Inc. Pale.

 

Maletić briefly served as the director of the now-defunct company “MOFAS”, whose land was sold for the construction of residential and commercial buildings to a consortium of construction companies from Istočno Sarajevo.

 

“UNIOTEC” is also constructing residential buildings in numerous locations in the municipality, including on the land of another defunct company, “TAT”. Following successful tenders, construction of residential and commercial buildings began throughout the municipality of Istočno Novo Sarajevo, known for its construction lobby and favouritism towards investors.

 

One of the construction sites of the company “UNIOTEC”, photo: SPIN Info

 

Mayor Ćosić: Yes, they are my friends

 

The Mayor of Istočno Sarajevo, Ljubiša Ćosić, sees nothing wrong with the fact that tenders in Istočno Sarajevo are often won by the same companies connected to the authorities. When asked whether it is a priority to stop the departure of medical staff from the “Srbija” Hospital or to build a new park, he said that these are completely different areas and talked to us about the importance of preserving memory culture. After our insistence, he finally responded to the question about the mayor’s “well-known companies”.

 

“To avoid dodging the question, I am very familiar with all the companies in Istočno Sarajevo, I am proud of it, you can quote me on that, and whenever I have the opportunity to cooperate exclusively with companies from Istočno Sarajevo, I will do so. I will remind you that I have been present in local government for a long time and that I am someone who has been the creator of many ideas and project implementations, I am very interested when a company wins a tender, and to be completely direct, I am very familiar with the company ‘Proinžinjering’ which won one lot, and I am very familiar with the company… (turns to our journalist) what’s its name?” the mayor asked.

 

Spin Info journalist: “UNIOTEC”.

 

In response to our suggestion that we are aware that he knows them very well, the mayor replied: “You cannot mislead me into believing that you can connect me with those companies. Yes, they are my friends whom I sit with. Is that a problem? Is it a problem for me to have friends among people who are engaged in those businesses?”

 

Ljubiša Čosić

 

It’s not a problem for the mayor to have friends, but it is a problem when he distributes public funds to his friends.

 

The mayor explains that in this case, the Public Procurement Law was fully complied with, and there were no complaints.

 

Traljić: Only Bidders Can Prevent Authorities from Arbitrarily Awarding Tenders

 

Srđan Traljić from Transparency International says that unfortunately, bidders or appellants are indeed the only ones who can prevent authorities from arbitrarily distributing tenders, and that is what they have been pointing out for a long time, namely the problem of active standing.

 

“Bidders protect their interests, and for some reason, if they decide not to file an appeal, there is no one to protect the interests of the citizens in public procurement procedures. That’s why we have proposed expanding active standing to existing institutions or citizens’ associations. We have not dealt with this specific case, but we witness numerous examples of multimillion-dollar deals being distributed across Bosnia and Herzegovina along party, familial, or other lines, which indicates a systemic problem with the Public Procurement Law itself, its implementation, and ultimately the inaction of judicial institutions that fail to prosecute numerous blatant abuses. Therefore, it is important that before any damage occurs to the public interest and everything ends up in court, some institution be allowed to intervene during the procedure”, says Traljić for SPIN Info. He adds that data from the Public Procurement Agency show that there is a worryingly low number of bids per procedure because bidders probably withdraw in advance, knowing that a procedure is rigged, and they do not want to risk antagonizing the authorities.

 

Srđan Traljić

 

Thus, these “friends” pass tenders legally, rendering competition meaningless, and a well-known and connected scheme has created a new layer of investors who are building in the area of Istočno Sarajevo.

 

 

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