Wednesday, 16 March 2011

French truck toll system (ecotax) on hold

A French Court has suspended the contract offered to the Autostrade led consortium to develop, build, install and operate a distance based heavy vehicle toll system on untolled French highways, because of allegations of conflict of interest according to Le Monde.   The Ecotax contract had been won by a consortium called EcoMouv.

The issue appears to be that one of the companies associated with the winning consortium was also providing advice to the French government that issued the tender - a classic case of conflict of interest.   It is hardly appropriate or ethical business conduct if this is the case, as one cannot be seen to be providing advice to a government entity that issues a tender, whilst also being party to one of the tenderers.

More details will be reported as they come to hand, but the Autostrade led consortium  (Ecomouv) intends to appeal the decision.  If the decision holds, at the very least it will mean the tender will need to be started from scratch, and anyone that was a party to the alleged conflict of interest would be ruled out - which could be very costly for those involved.  However, regardless of the outcome of appeals, it would appear that the proposed heavy vehicle toll system for France is suspended.

UPDATEIt's all go, appeal successful.

UPDATE 2:  More details here on the Ecotaxe.

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