Description: The project consisted of a large-scale expansion of maritime port facilities in a coastal municipality. The beneficiary of the project was the Port Authority. The project was included in European Commission Decision in 2004 for receiving the support of the Cohesion Fund. The port was to be extended about 150 hectares into the sea. The project involved a contractor executing the works as well as subcontractors supplying the materials for the construction works. Although the project dates back to 2005, actual construction began in 2011.
Case study category: Procurement fraud
ESI Fund(s) concerned: Cohesion Fund
The following irregularities were detected:
- Infringement of EU directives on public procurement and the national legislation implementing them.
- The price of the materials supplied did not correspond to the price initially approved in the project. Thus, the extra cost invoiced to the aid recipient would have led to an increase in the contractor's profit.
The national authorities did not carry out appropriate checks on the origin, quantities or price of the materials invoiced by the contractor
Reporting mechanism: Fraud was suspected after an MEP from a regional political party lodged a complaint with OLAF in 2009. By letter, DG REGIO requested OLAF’s intervention to examine possible irregularities in connection with the project.
IMS reporting: No