By Ioanna Mandrou

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Significant delays in the implementation of contracts for modernization projects of the OSE has been found in its latest report by the Court of Audit, the supreme court that controls the entire management of public money.

As can be seen from the report regarding the implementation of the railway network modernization contracts from 2017 to 2021 (this period is covered by the report) significant delays were observed, which in some cases they reached 2.5 times more than the initial forecast of completion of a project. In particular, in the context of the Supreme Court’s audits of 24 public bodies, where a total of 1,162 were audited, including many of ERGOSE. SA many irregularities and delays were observed.

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In particular, as stated in the report on the OSE projects, it was found in some cases that some of the required studies had not been prepared prior to the tendering of the projects or had not been updated or contained errors, in particular regarding the existence and exact location of the networks of public utility organizations and the pre-measurements of the works, the necessity of correcting which caused delays. In fact, the Court of Auditors underlines that “in a project to upgrade the railway network, the failure to prepare a fire protection study and a traffic safety implementation study for safe train traffic before the tender caused a delay of 5 months”.

Elsewhere, the consultants of the Court of Auditors refer to significant delays as “the required preliminary work had not been carried out prior to the tendering of the project, while in many cases, the projects were auctioned without having issued the required permits and approvals”. For example, they refer to a project to upgrade the railway network, “which was carried out following a dissolved contract and there was a significant delay until the recording of the works carried out, with the dissolved contract, was completed, while problems also occurred during the process of taking over and utilizing the materials of the service that would be integrated into the project”.

In the report of the Court of Auditors it is stated that a total of 140 public works were sampled. According to the audit finding: “Very long delays were found in the execution of public works. Extensions were granted to 2/3 of all projects (in 779 out of 1,162 projects), while the execution of these projects took an average of 2.5 times longer than originally estimated.”