The City Hall of Katowice has still not signed a concession agreement for services involving organization of events and management of the International Convention Center (ICC) and the „Spodek” sport and exhibition hall. The Administrative Court in Gliwice sustained a lodge which had been appealed by HKO – one of two companies competing for the concession.
The City of Katowice, an investor of the building, was obliged to choose the concessioneer due to the requirement of the European Commission, which provides a financing support for the project. The public funding was only for the construction of the infrastructure and the management services have to be carried out by a private operator selected in an open, transparent and non-discriminatory procedure, according to the conditions laid down by the European Commission.
The restriction of the EC says: „Neither the City of Katowice, nor any other public authority, will in any way be involved in the management of the constructed infrastructure and thus the selected operator will render services completely on its own behalf and responsibility. Moreover, the operator will not receive any public funding and will pay a fixed fee, at a level to be determined through the tender process for the right to use the facility”.
The City Hall of Katowice decided the administrative procedure for the concession agreement in the middle of November 2014. There were two companies competing for the contract in the last stage of the proceeding: HKO (Warsaw) and PTWP Event Center (Katowice). The Katowice-based firm was chosen as the preferred bidder. PTWP Event Center is a subsidiary of PTWP Group – an organizer of the European Economic Congress and publisher of several magazines and online portals. HKO is connected with two companies: Trias (Warsaw) and „Międzynarodowe Targi Poznańskie” (Poznań).
HKO lodged the appeal against the decision in the Administrative Court at the end of November. According to the company, the chosen offer of PTWP Event Center was incomplete (policy of insurance and credit guarantees) and was not filed on schedule.
On Friday, the court made its decision and admitted the right to HKO. This way the offer of PTWP Event Center became invalid.
Now the City of Katowice has three options: it can sign the concession agreement with HKO, make a lodge in the Supreme Appeal Court or cancel the proceeding and issue a new announcement. The City Hall did not make any statement and has not made any decision yet.
The International Convention Center is being built along Olimpijska St. and will be opened in March. The undertaking is worth PLN 324 million. The first large event to be held in the venue in the middle of March is Intel ESL Expo Katowice – trade fairs organized together with the next edition of Intel Extreme Masters. If the concessioneer is not selected, it is possible that the City Hall will lost the financial support of the EU (approximately PLN 182 million).