Treasury: Light rail tenders illegally frozen
16 December 2019 - globes
The Finance Ministry insists Industrial Cooperation chief Ziva Eger does not have the power to stop the Tel Aviv light rail tenders over the issue of reciprocal procurement.
Israel's Ministry of Finance has made it clear that there is no legal significance to the Ministry of Economy and Industry's attempt to stop the NIS 15 billion tenders for the Green and Purple Lines of the Tel Aviv light rail.
The Ministry of Economy and Industry had announced that the tenders have been frozen due to non-compliance with reciprocal procurement regulations. However, "Globes" has seen a letter sent by Ministry of Finance legal advisor Adv. Dudi Kopel to the Ministry of Economy and Industry's Foreign Investments & Industrial Cooperation chief executive Ziva Eger, which states bluntly that, "Your announcement of freezing the tender procedures was carried out without authority and against the regulations."
Earlier this week, Eger told the CEO of the NTA - Metropolitan Mass Transit System, the government company responsible for implementing the project that she was halting the tenders for the Greater Tel Aviv light rail's Green Line and Purple Line after rejecting NTA's request for an exemption from reciprocal procurement regulations.
She claimed that since rejecting the request for an exemption, NTA had failed to add a reciprocal procurement clause to the tenders, which were being frozen until the clause was added. But Kopel reveals that Eger did not contact the Accountant General for consent before announcing that the tender procedures were frozen, as required by law, and therefore her announcement has no validity.