The City Council’s response to the European Commission

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Dublin City Council is aware that a complaint was made to the EU Commission regarding the issue of a potential conflict of interest/undue influence arising from the move from Cowi to Elsam of a Mr Jorgen Grundtvig. This matter received some coverage by RTE News on Sunday 9 February 2014.

The City Council’s response to the European Commission, on 13 September 2013, was as follows:

Mr Jorgen Grundtvig did not move from Cowi to Elsam so there must be some misunderstanding on the part of the complainant.

However, it may be that the complainant is confusing Mr Grundtvig with another gentleman called Mr Bjarne Henning Jensen. The latter was a manager with Cowi who subsequently worked for Elsam during the period when Elsam was preparing its prequalification and bid documents for the Project.

I think it would be helpful to set out the sequence of events as established by the City.

The Client Representative is a joint venture of Cowi and RPS (RPS was formerly known as MC O’Sullivan and Company Limited). Mr Jensen was divisional manager of Cowi’s “Industry and Energy Division” from 2000 until 1 June 2002 based in Copenhagen (Lyngby). Mr Jensen was not involved in the Project whilst working with Cowi. Work by Cowi in relation to the preparation of prequalification material, contract specifications and the Invitation to Bid was handled by Cowi’s department in Aarhus. The OJEU notice was published in July 2002 and the requests for prequalification were submitted by 23 August 2002. The Invitation to Negotiate was issued to four bidders on 4 November 2003. Three bids were received (including from Elsam) on 16 April 2004. Mr Jensen had left Cowi before the OJEU notice was published in July 2002 and had left Elsam approximately 6 weeks after Elsam had submitted a bid.

Therefore, on the one hand, while Mr Jensen may have played some role on behalf of Elsam (which can be seen by his signing both the prequalification document for Elsam and Elsam’s bid as well as participating in a few pre-bid meetings/encounters), on the other hand, Mr Jensen, while working at Cowi:

  • played no role in developing the relationship between Cowi and the Project,

  • played no role in the development of the prequalification material, contract specifications or the Invitation to Bid for the Project and

  • had no role or input in connection with the Project while at Cowi.’

Furthermore, this is not a new issue as it had been raised by an Irish Member of Parliament in 2004, to whom the foregoing information was made available at that time.