There was outcry among the Ukrainian public with the news, on June 15, that the state-owned Boryspil Airport had issued a new tender for the comprehensive maintenance and cleaning of the interior of the airport terminals, car parks, and other airport facilities worth over Hr. 51 million ($14 million).
Public concerns are not only due to the high cost of cleaning services but the fact that Boryspil, like all airports in Ukraine, has been closed, under martial law, for all commercial flight services since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion in Ukraine sixteen months ago.
Yaroslav Zelezhnyak, a former economics advisor to Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman and now a Member of Parliament for the Holos party, told Kyiv Post that he believed the sole motivation behind the bizarre tender was for the management of the state airport to make some money.
"The planes are gone, but the people who used to make money from procuring their maintenance are not," he said.
The tender was announced on the Prozorro public procurement website for services to be carried out within 12 months between August 1, 2023 and July 31, 2024. The anticipated budget for the services was given as Hr. 51,777,332. The deadline for the submission of bids is June 28.
Details of the requirement was given as a need to clean 831 washbasins, 800 toilets, 233 urinals, and 167 showers within the terminals and other buildings of Boryspil Airport. In addition, airport maintenance services are to be provided for the 12 months starting on August 1 and will include provision of the following services:
- cleaning of public areas, production and sanitary facilities of the terminal complex and other airport facilities;
- cleaning of public areas of the premier VIP lounge and business lounges in passenger terminals "D" and "F";
- cleaning of public areas, production and sanitary facilities within the car parks;
- washing of the facades of the airport buildings;
- cleaning the roofs and canopies of airport buildings from ice and icicles.
When quizzed about the tender, the management of the airport gave a statement designed, they said, to avoid "manipulative wording used by some media."
The statement added: “Even though the airport is idle during martial law, there is a need to maintain the production facilities in good condition, as the airport is only very slightly operational.”
According to the terms of the tender, the requirement for daily, round-the-clock, and continuous provision of services does not apply while martial law is in force in Ukraine, but delivery of them will begin on a written “call-down” basis by the airport.
"If the airport does not need cleaning in general or in specific individual premises, a written application will not be submitted, and therefore no funds will be spent. This is confirmed by the stipulation in the tender documents that it is the airport's right to reduce the volume of services procured in case of production needs and the absence of an obligation to order services in full for each cleaning group," the airport administration explained.
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