Mobile phone tender: no final decision in sight

Prishtina, 24 September 2004 – The procedure for signing the second license for mobile company in Kosovo has been complicated, Kosovar media reported.

According to some sources the Minister of Transport and Telecommunications Zef Morina has harmonized his position with the stand of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), and a report signed by both parties was then sent to UNMIK.

The news was also given to Koha Ditore by the director of “Mobikos”, Fatmir Gashi who according to the paper sounded very optimistic. “As the head of TRA has informed us, the Ministry has harmonized stances with the TRA and that the next step will be the signing of the license”.

The head of the TRA, Anton Berisha, although hesitant to comment on it, issued a statement in which he said: “Based on this final review, we feel that the issues raised by company ‘HELM’ have been addressed and adequately clarified’.

UNMIK spokesman Jeff Bieley said that Brayshaw reminded Minister Morina that telecommunications is a transferred competency and that the final decision must be made by the Kosovo Government, who should have the report of the auditors as a starting point.

Also, Brayshaw has suggested the Government to take into account the comments of the major supporters of Kosovo in the international community.

Brayshaw to Primeminister: cancel the tender
Yesterday, Charles Brayshaw has sent an official letter to Prime Minister Bajram Rexhepi saying that it is in Kosovo’s interest to cancel and announce a new tender for mobile telephone. “The issue of the tender must be solved by the Government in a clear and authoritative way, by removing every single doubt that has been raised in the international community and the Kosovo public,” said Brayshaw.

In this letter, a copy of which was obtained by Kosovar media, Brayshaw informs about the meeting he had with minister Morina on Tuesday.

“On Tuesday in the morning, with his request, I met with the minister of Transport and Telecommunication, Mr. Zef Morina, to discuss the process of mobile tender’. UNMIK, the letter further continues, accepts that the sector of the telecommunication is a transferred competency. “We do not want to create the impression that we are unfairly taking over the competencies again”, but as we agreed, Mr. Morina and me, there is a number of responsibilities that cover each other, and which allow UNMIK to play a role in the issue.

According to some daily Kosovar newspapers, Charles Brayshaw has recommended that the proposal of the experts to suspend and restart the tender should be taken into account by the Government. Among the shortcomings noticed by the experts, Brayshaw reminds that some of the bidders, including the winner, have not presented their financial statements, and which was the main requirement for the final stage of the bidding.

According to Koha Ditore, UNMIK has suggested the annulment of the second mobile tender, but has not offered proof that would justify that decision, therefore the government has decided to wait for Pillar I to conclude the investigation.

Transport and Telecommunications Minister Zef Morina said to Koha Ditore: “We cannot do anything until Pillar I finishes the investigations of the management of the second mobile phone tender’.

The Kosovo Government spokeswoman Mimoza Kusari said that Morina informed the government that an agreement was reached about disputes between the ministry and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. She added that the Government does not have the mechanisms to investigate all breaches presented in the report of the experts. It is because of this that Charles Brayshaw has authorized Pillar I to conduct the investigation.