Bulgaria planned to build a self-contained telecom network for the use of the state administration, saving millions of leva in annual spending on contracts with the country’s telecom carriers, news website Mediapool.bg reported on December 13.
The network could run using frequency spectrum currently allocated to the Bulgarian military, allowing both voice and video communication, the report said.
Bulgaria’s government agency for electronic networks information systems has already called a tender, worth 300 000 leva, to pick a company that would implement such a system, but the tender was cancelled after the country’s competition watchdog ruled that some of the tender requirements were discriminatory.
The main objection raised by the Commission for the Protection of Competition was against the requirement that bidders are partners of companies producing the equipment to be used in the implementation of the network, as well as the requirement that bidders’ employees have specific certification of proficiency with the respective equipment issued by the producers.
The agency said that it would not challenge the regulator’s ruling in court and would call a new tender instead.
“The agency’s explanation did not clarify how the system would work and the rationale for its implementation given that civil servants at lower levels could use free applications like Skype in their daily work, while for work with confidential data, encrypted connections could be used,” the report said.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)