The ÖBB's decision to award the contract to Bombardier was checked and amended at Stadler's request: The passenger service subsidiary of the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB) issued an invitation to tender, calling for bids for the conclusion of a framework agreement regarding the purchase of up to 300 commuter trains with an estimated procurement volume of approximately EUR 2 billion. The Canadian company Bombardier was to be awarded the contract.
However, upon the application of the Swiss train manufacturer Stadler, which is a supplier to WESTbahn in Austria, the ÖBB was forced to withdraw its selection decision and replace it with a new "amended selection decision". The main characteristics and advantages of the tender offer submitted by Bombardier were not sufficiently explained by the ÖBB in its decision, as it merely provided an aggregated value dependent on the "total cost of ownership (TCO)" and the floor space of the vehicles. In addition to disclosing the TCO value, the amended selection decision for the award also disclosed the purchase price, maintenance costs and energy costs over the entire lifetime of the trains (the so-called life cycle costs – LCC).
Stadler was successfully represented during the entire procurement project as well as during the two subsequent review procedures by the Central European law firm CHSH, headed by infrastructure specialist Georg Konrad (Partner). In addition to Konrad, the team at CHSH consisted of Senior Partner Benedikt Spiegelfeld and Associates Lukas Moser and Michael Radner (all Corporate & Commercial).
By filing an application for a second review procedure, Stadler ensured that the maintenance costs shown in the tender offer submitted by the best bidder Bombardier, which in its opinion were unusually low, were reviewed by the Federal Administrative Court chaired by Judge Hubert Reisner. The Federal Administrative Court nevertheless did not deem it necessary to conduct a more in-depth evaluation of the tender in spite of the high contract value. It is to be hoped that the Court of Auditors will not have to address this issue again.