BEIRUT — Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi held a press conference on Friday to announce a call for tenders to entrust the management of mechanical vehicle inspection centers, the Lebanese equivalent of roadworthiness testing.
The specifications have been available on the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority website since Thursday.
Present at the press conference was Authority's Chairman Jean Ellieh, who said the procedure will be "transparent," ensure "guaranteed competition," and enable the state to go with "the lowest price."
He also pointed out that the terms of the specifications allowed small and medium-sized companies to apply. Interested companies have until Oct. 30, 2023, to submit their bids.
Specific payment mechanism
The procedure is being launched by the Vehicle and Traffic Management Authority, part of the Interior Ministry. The three-year contract covers the country's four mechanical inspection centers: Hadath for Mount Lebanon, Ghazieh (Saida) for South Lebanon, Majdalia (Zgharta) for North Lebanon and Zahle for the Bekaa.
According to Ellieh, the state's plan to modernize the four existing centers and build 13 new ones (eight regional and five border) should be the subject of a separate call for tenders, for which no timetable has yet been set.
It also specifies that, while fees will still be payable in Lebanese lira, a specific payment mechanism will be set up from the outset to avoid problems linked to the lira's depreciation, banking restrictions on depositors and Banque du Liban's refusal to use its foreign currency reserves to pay government expenditure.
Mechanical inspection centers have not been managed by any authority for over two years.