The Anticor association, whose specialty is to report to the public prosecutor’s office any acts of corruption committed by elected officials or members of the State administration, has just referred the matter to the Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR) about the TousAntiCovid application, funded entirely by the State in the absence of any call for tenders.
Contracts awarded in disregard of public procurement rules
Presented at the time of its launch as having been developed free of charge by several companies in the private sector, the TousAntiCovid application (formerly StopCovid) is in fact expensive, very expensive. But, problem: despite the enormous costs, no call for tenders, no competitive bidding procedure had been launched. For the Anticor association, we are facing a crime of favoritism.
Anticor, whose corporate purpose is to “ fight corruption and restore ethics in politics ” but also ” rehabilitate the relationship of trust that must exist between citizens and their political and administrative representatives », Therefore chose to seize the Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR). In its complaint, Anticor recalls that the government is required to proceed with a call for tenders from 139,000 euros excluding tax for supply and service contracts, according to the rules of public procurement. Each of the expenditure items, whether for communication or for the operation of the application, should have been the subject of a call for tenders or a competitive process with regard to their amounts.
TousAntiCovid: a market of 6.5 million euros / year, passed without any call for tenders
So what are the amounts involved? Beginning of June 2020, L’Obs revealed that the maintenance and hosting of the StopCovid application were provided by the company Outscale, a subsidiary of Dassault Systèmes, for an operating cost estimated at 200,000 to 300,000 euros per month. This order of magnitude of the amounts committed was subsequently recognized by Cédric O, general secretary in charge of digital, during a press conference on June 23. That day, he mentioned 40,000 euros per month for IT hosting, 40,000 to 80,000 euros per month for the maintenance and development of the application, 50,000 euros per month for user support and 30,000 euros per month for deployment costs.
But according to Anticor, costs quickly climbed: 69,676 euros / year for licenses, 720,000 euros / year for user support, 432,000 euros / year for the animation of the deployment, 576,000 euros / year for hosting and 2,793,000 euros / year for the communication campaign. That is, in all, a cost of 6.5 million euros / year. It is obvious that entering into such a large contract without any invitation to tender is quite simply illegal …