Kosovo: New mobile operator after the status?!

Prishtinë, Jul 6, 2006 – According to the Political Advisor to the Ministry of Transport and Post-Telecommunication, Shefki Ukaj, the Kosovo Government and the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) are ready to review the documentations of the competing companies. However in order to begin the process, the names of the UNMIK representatives are necessary, reported Lajm.

“The former SRSG has informed Minister Qemajl Ahmeti that one representative will be from UNMIK Legal Office and the other from UNMIK Pillar IV. We do not know their names yet,” stated Ukaj, adding that UNMIK will make their names public most probably on Monday or Tuesday. MTPT believes that the beginning of the selection process depends on the UNMIK Representatives.

Express also quotes sources as saying that the Ministry cannot take further steps before the UNMIK representatives are appointed. “If we select the company, UNMIK may not agree with our decision. Later on UNMIK might cancel the tender, just as it happened earlier,” the source said.

Meanwhile, UNMIK Pillar IV Spokeswoman Mechthild Henneke said that the Kosovo Government might begin the evaluations without UNMIK Representatives. “UNMIK will participate as observer and supporter of the local institutions and will not have the final say,” said Henneke.

“UNMIK/Pillar IV will have no representatives in the Commission responsible for the selection of a consultancy company for assisting with the preparations of the tender for the 2nd mobile phone service provider, but will participate in the Oversight Commission which will monitor (1) the tender and selection procedures of the consultancy company as well as (2) the tender and selection procedures for the 2nd mobile phone operator.”

According to evaluations of the Kosovo Government, the consultancy will cost approximately € 200 thousand. However, more detailed analysis of TRA show that by including the lunches, travels and eventual accommodation of foreign experts, the cost will increase to half a million euros. Government officials did not admit that the consultancy company would be employed due to their inability to do this job. They said that this is the most effective way to work. According to Express sources, the new operator cannot be selected before March 2007.