“Profile”: court overturned controversial tender from Vienna City Hall

Competitors accused that only the Siemens group could have come into play when purchasing computer tomographs, report profil and ORF-ZIB.

Vienna (OTS) - As the news magazine profil reported on its website on Monday evening, the Vienna Regional Administrative Court has declared a tender by the city’s own Vienna Health Association (WIGEV) null and void. It is about the purchase of computer tomographs for Vienna's hospitals with a maximum value of 8,5 million euros. The accusation: The tender was "designed in such a way that only one bidder could have won it at the end of the day," said the Graz lawyer Thomas Neger, representative of Canon Medical Systems, to profil and the ORF-ZIB. Both media report on the cause in a joint research.

Specifically, in its invitation to tender, the town hall insisted on specifications that only include devices from the Siemens subsidiary Siemens Healthineers - such as water cooling and a 3D camera. This aroused resistance from competitor Canon Medical Systems. In its final decision of January, the court follows Canon's arguments. Some aspects of the tender are "irrelevant and discriminatory," according to the court. "Such a procedure contradicts (...) the principles of public procurement law."

The Vienna City Hall opposition regularly locates conflicts of interest as a result of personal entanglements between the City of Vienna and Siemens. For example, Sonja Wehsely, who was then SPÖ City Councilor for Health, joined Siemens Healthineers in 2017. Today the company emphasizes in a statement to profil and the ORF-ZIB that Wehsely does not look after customers in Austria, but only abroad. On the part of the WIGEV, for which Vienna's SPÖ City Councilor Peter Hacker is politically responsible, it says: "We will of course initiate a new procedure taking into account the criticisms formulated by the competent court." However, there are indications that the procedure is in some way could be influenced by party political considerations, "back in the strongest possible way".

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"Profile" editorial team, email: editorial@profil.at