The same job initially priced at 60,000 KM, has jumped to 600,000 KM!

The same job initially priced at 60,000 KM, has jumped to 600,000 KM!

Autoputevi Republike Srpske (The Highways of Republika Srpska) allocated 595,000 KM to the company "MANIA" for the "presentation services of initiated

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Obmana kao predizborno oružje?

Autoputevi Republike Srpske (The Highways of Republika Srpska) allocated 595,000 KM to the company “MANIA” for the “presentation services of initiated and constructed sections of the highway”, even though they allocated only 60,000 KM for the same service last year!

The tender for the “presentation services of initiated and constructed sections of the highway” was published by Autoputevi Republike Srpske on August 31 last year. The notice of contract award was published on October 27 of the same year. The job was awarded to the Promotion Agency “MANIA” from Banja Luka, and the value of the contract is 595,000 KM. One year earlier, the Highways awarded the same job to the company “A MEDIA”, and the value of the “work” at that time was only 60,000 KM. This rightfully raises the question of how the price of the same job increased tenfold in one year.

Even after a month, Autoputevi Republike Srpske has not responded to our questions. Although we contacted them several times after sending the questions, the answers never arrived. However, it is more than clear that the funds for the “presentation of initiated and constructed sections of the highway” were not accidentally increased and were not accidentally allocated to the Agency “MANIA”, just as the funds from 2022 were not accidentally awarded to the company “A MEDIA.”

Both companies – “MANIA” and “A MEDIA” – are favourites of the current government when it comes to tenders. The person responsible for “A MEDIA” is mentioned as Drahmi Miskin, a longtime employee of Banja Luka’s Alternative Television (ATV). ATV is precisely the founder of the company “A MEDIA”, which operates the tabloid “Faktor magazin.” In 2022, “A MEDIA” had one employee and a revenue of 291,166 KM.

In July of last year, “A MEDIA” received 50,000 KM from Elektro-Hercegovina for the “media monitoring of business activities of the Company through TV stations.” Elektro-Hercegovina is a distribution company within the Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske system. This company has obtained similar or the same tasks from Elektro-Doboj (200,000 KM), the Agency for Banking of RS (6,000 KM), the City of Prijedor (6,000 KM), Hydro Power Plant on the Vrbas River (50,000 KM), Elektrokrajina (39,920 KM), Elektrodistribucija Pale (50,000 KM), Trebinje, and Derventa (12,800 and 17,094 KM), Elektro-Bijeljina (49,950 KM), Hydro Power Plant on the Drina River (30,000 KM), and Roads of the Republika Srpska (99,918 KM). From the first contract (signed on April 22, 2022) to the last one (concluded on October 19 of the same year), “A MEDIA” has signed contracts worth 1.1 million KM.

“A MEDIA” is only the first part of the marketing machinery. The second part is represented by the agency “Port marketing”, founded on March 8, 2022. The initial owner and director of the agency were the then Director of Marketing and Communications at Alternative Television, Dejan Stupar. The current director and owner are a certain Đorđe Bojić. The GERILA portal recently revealed that the phone number listed as the agency’s number belongs to Drahmi Miskin.

Miskin was previously mentioned as the director of the company CMT (Commercial media travel), founded in 2011 during the conflicts in the “Mreža plus.” At that time, Nataša Tešanović was the head of ATV. CMT was established with a capital of 2,000 KM and, one year after its founding, had a turnover of 252,000 KM. The agency “Port marketing” has, in just over a year of existence, secured contracts worth 950,000 KM from two dependent companies belonging to the Mixed Holding of Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske – Rudnik i termoelektrane Ugljevik and Hidroelektrane na Trebišnjici. Interestingly, “Port marketing” obtained both contracts within less than a month and a half, specifically on May 19 of last year, totalling 500,000 KM, while they signed a contract with HET worth 450,000 KM on June 27.

The Promotion Agency “MANIA”, which received 595,000 KM from Autoputevi Republike Srpske for the “services of presenting initiated and constructed highway sections”, was founded on June 24, 2015. The company’s owners are Dajan Javorac, Srđan Šipka, and Danijel Tepšić, with Goran Vukalović as the director of “MANIA.” At the end of 2022, “MANIA” reported a revenue of 2.1 million KM. The previous year, their account had 1.25 million KM, and in 2020, it was 1.1 million KM.

The most loyal “partners” of this agency are the Investment-Development Bank of Republika Srpska, with which “MANIA” has signed contracts worth 530,460 KM, and the Regulatory Agency for Communications of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has so far allocated 886,733 KM to this company. Both of these institutions are headed by trusted personnel of the SNSD (Dražen Vrhovac and Draško Milinović). “MANIA” received 647,000 KM from the Office of the President of Republika Srpska (408,000 KM for organizing the celebration of Republic Day and 239,000 KM for a media campaign related to this holiday). Among many contracts is the one “MANIA” obtained from the Highways, amounting to 595,000 KM.

However, the question arises: how and why did the same job, within one year, increase from 60,000 to almost 600,000 KM? Unofficially, we learned that the majority of these funds will be redirected to other addresses after being deposited into the “MANIA” account.

– It is as clear as day that this job cannot cost so much. We have no idea what needs to be done within that job, but that’s why it’s highly unlikely that such a service would cost 600,000 KM. I assume that the job will be “covered” with a few visuals, perhaps a new website, and a few videos, and that will be it. The rest will go to those to whom the Highways cannot give money just like that – emphasized our interlocutor who is well-informed about this issue.

Economist Svetlana Cenić, speaking to Infoveza, states that it is entirely possible for the same service to increase tenfold within one year, especially if there are ten times more people who need to be, as she emphasized, “embedded” in that job.

“If elections are imminent, and we know they are, everything immediately becomes at least ten times more expensive. Construction materials and labour have not increased tenfold. If they have increased, it’s by twenty or thirty per cent, but certainly not one hundred per cent. Everything else is the ’embedded part.’ If they don’t want to answer your questions, it’s because they have nothing to answer”, said Cenić.

Vukota Govedarica, the head of the SDS Parliamentary Club in the National Assembly of Republika Srpska, also believes it is impossible for the same job to become ten times more expensive within one year. He says that this is only possible in countries shackled by crime and corruption.

“If the Highways don’t want to answer your questions, then that’s the best answer. If everything is clear, they would rush to provide answers. The job could have increased by ten or twenty per cent, but not one hundred per cent. When you create a party state and occupy all its institutions, you get these kinds of things”, Govedarica said.

MP of the Justice and Order List in the Parliament of Republika Srpska, Đorđe Vučinić, says he has no doubt that “our legends” will find a good justification once again when it comes to the enormous and abnormal spending of public funds.

“I don’t know if this time it’s due to the consequences of the coronavirus, the war in Ukraine, or the latest hotspots in the Middle East, but it will be that way. The official election year has started, and we need to fight for a few cut ribbons, although for us, a big success and a nice story would be that some road will be passable in a few years. I’m not sure if the gentlemen from the Highways even know where Herzegovina is. But when they find out, they will start making various conceptual projects until the fall of this year that will surpass even this shameful figure, which is a clear indicator that funds are no longer taken from the budget of all citizens with a handful, but with shovels, and often with a bulldozer”, said Vučinić.

Interestingly, just a few minutes before we published this text, UNA announced that the United Kingdom had imposed sanctions on MANIA.

Written by: Goran Dakić