Sophia : a third round in the CICA battle ?
The case of call for tenders is passed before the Administrative Court and the government Commissioner has noticed three cancellation points. The judgement is expected as well.
Is there going to be third round in the battle for the CICA, one of the main buildings in Sophia Antipolis ? Probably. Since the beginning of the week, a rumour was spreading on the research park : the call for tenders, which has allowed the Carillion group (Nicoletti) to be entrusted with the management of the CICA, would have been cancelled by the Administrative Court of Nice. Such a rumour does not seem totally unjustified. Still, it seems very premature and, for the moment, not ensured.Three cancellation pointsThe facts. They do come from the Administrative Court of Nice which has focused on that case of call for tenders of the CICA last April 13th. C.I.COM Organisation had contested the modalities of the call for tenders made by the Council of the department for the management and the animation of a building which is its property. An appeal has been done and around twelve cancellation points of the call for tenders have been suggested. C.I.COM Organisation, the company which had managed the Center for five years and had given its aura, thought that they have been put out of the game illegally. Their case had not been examined because, as Immodef, another applicant, they have laid only one file while the procurement contract code specifies that two files are required (see article "La bataille du CICA est engagée").Over these twelve points that have been suggested, the Administrative Court has only retained three of them. the first one has been considered by the government Commissioner as a cancellation case to submit before the Court : the president of the Council of the department was not authorized to sign a seven-year management market. The mandate he had dealt with a public service delegation of five years, which corresponded to the first call for tenders which was aborted in April 2000. In the meantime, they have chosen another solution. But the mandate granted to the president had not been changed.The market could be cancelledThe second cancellation point that have been retained results from this change : the regulation of the call for tenders mentioned that one single file had to be laid (which corresponds as well to the modalities of the call for tenders made in April 2000 which was a limited tendering). So, two out of the four applicants have respected this regulation and they have laid only one file. But, on that point, the procurement contract code is formal : for an open tendering, which was the case for the second call for tenders in September 2000, two files are required.The first one is made up of administrative references and the second one is composed of the answers to the general conditions to the contract (see "Comment CI Com et Immodef se sont retrouvés hors jeu"). So the files of C.I.Com and Immodef have been eliminated. As far as the third point is concerned, it deals with the fact that applicants have been examined twice : they have been examined in the first file while they had already been examined during the first one.What is going to happen now ? The Administrative Court, which will deliberate on the matter, still has to give the judgement within two or four years. If this judgement retained what has been advocated by the government Commissioner, signatories will be compelled to cancel the market. So, the battle for the CICA could experience a new sudden revival soon !