The Administrative Council for Economic Defense convicted seven companies and two individuals for involvement in a cartel that defrauded the competitive nature of municipal public tenders, held across the country, for the acquisition of Mobile Health Units, medical and dental equipment. The majority of the Court rendered the decision during the trial session on the 9th of December.
Four companies in the Planan group and two company managers were convicted of anti-competitive practices; two Frontal group companies; and the Leal Máquinas company. The fines imposed on those involved in the illegal conduct amounted to more than R $ 55.4 million.
According to the counsellor Paula Azevedo, the participants in the collusion combined the presentation of coverage proposals to simulate the competitiveness of the bidding processes, when, there was already a predefined winner according. The companies carried out this practice between 1999 and 2005.
Investigations show that tenders for UMS purchases were attributed to the Planam group. The Frontal group won the competitions for the acquisition of medical and dental equipment. Leal Máquinas' participation in the collusion, in turn, consisted of submitting fictitious proposals in different municipalities, provided that it won the tenders held in the state of Minas Gerais.
The administrative proceeding was initiated in 2008, based on evidence gathered by "Operation Sanguessuga", triggered by the Federal Police and the Federal Public Ministry. The scheme was also the subject of criminal proceedings and counting by the Joint Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry in the National Congress.
The investigation of the case pointed out that the scheme for directing public tenders between companies that should compete with each other was divided into three stages and each participant in the cartel had a specific function to guarantee the success of the infractions.
For the practices of the infractions that hurt the competition of bidding processes in the public health sector, CADE determined the fines that add up to R $ 55.4 million.
By the decision of the local authority court, those convicted of the cartel involvement are also prohibited from contracting with official financial institutions and from participating in tenders carried out by the Federal, State, Municipal and Federal District Public Administration, as well as by government entities for a period of five years.