IT suppliers to Polish healthcare under investigation

UOKiK said it had conducted unannounced on-site inspections at three IT service providers, Asseco Poland, Comarch Healthcare and Bestprojects, due to suspicions of bid-rigging. Rafał Guz/PAP

Poland’s anti-monopoly office, UOKiK, has opened an investigation into tenders for the supply and implementation of IT services used by the national health service, the organisation confirmed on Wednesday.

UOKiK said it had conducted unannounced on-site inspections at three IT service providers, Asseco Poland, Comarch Healthcare and Bestprojects, due to suspicions of bid-rigging.

"We suspect that illicit market-sharing arrangements and collusive tendering may have taken place," Tomasz Chrostny, UOKiK's head, said in a press release. "The searches were carried out with the court's approval and with the assistance of the police."

Chrostny added that the anti-monopoly office was analysing "the collected material," which had "significant evidential value."

UOKiK noted that the current preliminary proceedings did not imply that the parties concerned had broken tender rules. "If the collected material confirms suspicions, then the head of UOKiK will launch an anti-monopoly investigation and bring charges against specific entities," said UOKiK.

The firms face the prospect of being fined up to 10 percent of their annual turnover if they are found guilty.

Asseco and Comarch have won dozens of public tenders in Poland in recent years.