QCOSTARICA – The future of Riteve, in charge of offering the vehicle technical inspection service nationwide and since 2002, and its 500 employees remains uncertain. “We hope that something will be resolved,” said company spokeswoman Jennifer Hidalgo.
In July, just five months away, the contract between the Riteve SyC, a Costa Rican company, with national and foreign capital, in charge of the Vehicle Technical Review (RTV) in Costa Rica, and the Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes (MOPT) expires and the country runs the risk of being left without the service for up to two years, as recognized by the authorities themselves.
This is because a new bidding process has not yet started, nor has a tender for new awards been published. Nor is there an open plan to grant special permits or authorizations that allow the continuity of the service.
On the contrary, the Contraloría General de la República (CGR) – Comptroller General – rejects the option of extending the contract with Riteve while a new bidding process begins and advances, because the State had 10 years to plan this process.
Uncertainty is, for the moment, the only thing that surrounds the process since the Consejo de Seguridad Vial (Cosevi) – Road Safety Council – presented, again, last Friday before the CGR a request to extend the contract with Riteve, which is now in the process of analysis.
For their part, the company assures that they have confidence in the decisions made by the Government and that they remain attentive to all the actions that are taken and that allow them to stay in the country, however, they cannot ignore that if they do not take the guarantee to extend their contract, they will have to abandon the stations and layoff their almost 500 workers nationwide.
“We remain, as we have said, waiting for the news. Our contract expires in July, so we continue working until that date with the same commitment that we have had throughout this time and we are therefore confident that something can be resolved in the coming weeks.
“Through the news sources we have learned of several actions that have been presented, but we are respectful, waiting to know the official details. We will wait to see what the decisions are and what happens at that moment (in five months when the contract expires) to make the best decision according to the situation that arises,” said Hidalgo.
However, the options are few. One, if the contract with Riteve is not extended, the company must pack up and put almost 500 people out of work. Two, if the contract is extended for two years pending a bidding process, Riteve will continue to provide the service in the country and they could also participate in this new contest.
A third possible option is for Cosevi to extend the Riteve contact for an unspecified time (indefinitely), with the endorsement of the CGR, which it has said it will not, to prevent the country from being left without the vehicle inspection, during the time it takes for the magistrates of the Constitutional Court to resolve the action of unconstitutionality president last October by the Asociación Preserve Planet and whose resolution could take up to two years.
In any case, one of the main changes established in 2012, when the contract was renewed for another 10 years, is that all the facilities and equipment become the property of the State.
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“The contract establishes that the stations and the equipment become the property of the state and that is completely regulated and thus established in the contract,” acknowledges the Riteve spokeswoman.
Rodolfo Méndez Mata, the Minister of Public Works and Transportation, acknowledged earlier this month the seriousness of the problem if the country is left without the service that the traffic law establishes as a requirement for circulation on the roads, which has also helped improve conditions of vehicles and reduce polluting emissions.
“Cosevi has already generated a financial model for a new tender for the moment when it can happen, but time is running out and we have to move very quickly and that’s where we are,” said the Minister On Februar 1.
At the moment, with just five months before the current contract expires, what is clear is the uncertainty by the company, the users and the authorities themselves, of the vehicle inspection service.