Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Eastern border monitoring tender includes Chinese technology

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A business with a Chinese parent company qualified for a tender to install monitoring equipment on Estonia’s eastern border, news portal Delfi reports.

The application is one of four – submitted by G4S Eesti, Cybernetica, Hansavalve with subcontractor BK Eesti OÜ, and Optimus Systems – that met the specified requirements and is currently being processed by the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA). The contract has not yet been awarded.

BK Eesti OÜ’s tender raises questions as Chinese conglomerate Hikvision owns the company.

Estonia has no law that restricts the use of a firm’s technology, or from participating in public procurements, based on national security, Delfi wrote.

However, Estonia’s Foreign Intelligence Service and the Internal Security Service have repeatedly warned about the threat posed by China and the use of Chinese technology in critical infrastructure, such as energy networks.

The PPA said it fully understands the risks, but there is one catch.

“Of course, when we carry out public procurement, we also take into account the Public Procurement Act, which means that the company that submits the best bid will win the contract, provided that its solution complies with our technical specifications,” said Merle Tikk, project manager for the construction of the eastern border of PPA.

The agency said a company cannot be withdrawn from a public procurement due to national security.

Minister of Interior Lauri Läänemets (SDE) told Delfi the government has discussed ways to reduce security threats in public procurement and the Ministry of Finance is working on a set of proposals.

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