Adif Case: the experts confirm anomalies in three AVE tenders from the Ábalos era

Adif Case
Adif Case

Reports prepared by Ineco engineers detect that the offers presented by the OPR company received a higher score than they deserved. Confidential reports of the Adif case point to anomalies and technical overestimations in the three tenders that were the subject of an internal investigation for alleged irregularities in favor of a company .

 The documents, to which THE OBJECTIVE has had access , are signed by two engineers from the public company Ineco who were commissioned to make a second assessment of the technical offers included in the investigated files. The first evaluations had been signed in 2020 and 2021 by the general director of Adif-Alta Velocidad, Juan Pablo Villanueva , a trusted man of the former minister José Luis Ábalos and the former president of Adif Isabel Pardo de Vera.


Caso Adif': los peritos confirman anomalías en tres licitaciones del AVE de  la era Ábalos


The Ineco experts now conclude that the company Obras Públicas y Regadíos (OPR) should not have obtained the best technical score in any of the three tenders evaluated. And they consider that in at least one of them there would have been “a significant change” in the final ranking order of the companies that participated in the tender.

OPR obtained the best technical score from Villanueva and other Adif workers who signed the three investigated files. However, according to the criteria of the Ineco experts, the technical offers presented by the same company would have been relegated to a lower position in all cases .

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The public entity shelved the internal investigation on March 4 , two days after it was revealed by this newspaper, considering that  there are no “indications of irregularity”  in favor of OPR. However, in the statement in which Adif announced the closure of the investigations, there was no mention that the reports of external experts, contributed to the investigation, indicate an overvaluation in the technical offer presented by that company in the three revised tenders.

In one of the cases an overvaluation of 11.8% is indicated . In the second , a deviation of 7.6% is pointed out . and in the third, the only one in which OPR ended up as the winner of a contract of 79.2 million euros, an overestimation of 1.3% is indicated .


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This newspaper has contacted Adif to request its version of why the investigations were shelved despite the content of the external reports provided by Ineco in the investigation. However, no response has been received.

When announcing the closure of the investigations, the public entity pointed out that, from the analysis of the external engineers and after adding the score they obtained from Adif in the subsequent economic offer, it was confirmed “that the companies that were awarded had always maintained the first  position  in the tender.”


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Although the latter is also included in the confidential reports to which this newspaper has had access, according to lawyers consulted by THE OBJECTIVE, this point would only serve to discredit possible embezzlement.

The investigation would have been closed without an in-depth analysis of whether , in light of the conclusions of the Ineco engineers, Adif’s technical assessments could have produced falsehoods in a public document or prevarication .


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The external experts limited themselves to evaluating the three technical offers best valued by Adif in each of the investigated files, but they did not evaluate those of the rest of the competitors, nor did they make a second evaluation of the score assigned to the economic offers presented by all the companies.

who participated in the awards. Although OPR ultimately only won one of the three bids, that company would have had an advantage in all three public tenders thanks to receiving the best technical evaluation. He could have won all three contracts if he had made a financial offer other than the one he made.


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Adif overvaluation of 11.8%

In the first of the tenders analysed, the Bajo de la Cabezuela railway branch (Cádiz), Ineco engineers gave OPR’s technical offer a score of 33.92 compared to the 37.93 points it received from Adif. In other words, they believe that it should have received a score 11.8% lower than the one given by the directors of the public entity that signed the technical evaluation .

The technical offer submitted by the Temporary Business Union (UTE) made up of OPR and Cotodisa, which obtained the best score in the tender, should have fallen to sixth place out of 15 technical offers submitted.


Home - Adif


« It is considered a significant change. The technical classification order changes from 1 to 6 ”, indicates the report by Ineco engineers on the award of the Bajo de la Cabezuela railway branch.

By contrast, according to the independent experts, two other companies that submitted technical bids in the same tender (and came in second and third place) should have received a higher score of ‘around two points’.


Despite the fact that the external experts accredited this difference in criteria in their evaluation, Adif concluded on March 4 the internal investigation initiated six months earlier, after a complaint sent to the Ethics Channel of the public entity.

Some investigations for which the general director of Adif-Alta Velocidad, Juan Pablo Villanueva, and two technicians involved in the Bajo de la Cabezuela project were questioned.


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The complaint pointed out that the director of the contract had refused to sign the technical assessment signed by her superiors. Her signature does not appear on that company’s technical bid report.

However, according to sources familiar with the investigation, the latter would have denied this point before the investigators. The three  “categorically” denied the facts denounced , added the public entity.


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«Adif has concluded the investigation initiated in September 2022, after receiving a notification through its Ethical Channel, finding no indication of irregularity  that proves that the General Director of Construction of Adif and General Director of Adif-Alta Velocidad, Juan Pablo Villanueva , gave instructions to his collaborator, Raul Correas, and this to his collaborator, Almudena Leal, to favorably rate the offer of the OPR company in the tender for the Bajo de la Cabezuela railway branch; process in which both professionals were involved”, indicated the railway administrator in a press release in which he communicated the archive of the investigations.

Información general - Adif


technical deficiencies

However, the report of the Ineco engineers provided to the investigators indicates notable discrepancies with respect to the evaluation carried out by Adif in the tender for that section in Cádiz. Specifically, OPR receives four points less than those given by the technicians of the railway entity in the section “Planning of the work, material and human resources” .

Adif gave this company the highest possible score in this section, a 10. On the contrary, in a devastating report, independent experts reduce their assessment to 6.


“Regarding the human and material resources, it is valued downwards due to the lack of definition of the type of machinery, it is not worth just saying one type, since within that typology there are many varieties and it is left generic “, indicate the external engineers. In addition, they point out deficiencies in the planning and programming of the deadlines for execution and delivery of the work .

« Dates are used discretionarily , without prior justification (…) On the other hand, neither holidays nor weekends are taken into account , which when it occurs in reality, they will stop to rest, with which the programming is not entirely real with what will be done on site, “says the report.


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The experts also question the deficiencies regarding the identification of the necessary legal requirements in environmental matters. «Nor is it identified how they are going to be implemented. Everything remains up in the air ”, they point out before crossing out the section referring to the prevention of forest fires as “very basic”.

Regarding occupational risk prevention, ” they do not speak at all about the system to be implemented, but limit themselves to defining what is very important and that audits will be carried out “.


Adif Case: the experts confirm anomalies in three AVE tenders from the Ábalos era


port of sagunto

In the other two files analyzed , in which OPR also obtained the best technical score, the Ineco experts also give that company a lower assessment than the one given by Adif technicians and managers. 

In the tender to carry out the works of the construction project of the railway access to the port of Sagunto , in Valencia, the Ineco engineers give 36.06 points to the offer presented by OPR, “which means 2.7 points less than the valuation initial ».


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Or what is the same, they point to an overvaluation of 7.6% . The qualifying order of the three technical offers valued in this tender would have suffered a complete overturn. OPR would have fallen from first to third place, while the other two companies analyzed would have risen one position each.

By adding the result of the score obtained in its economic offer to the three, the company SA de Obras y Servicios Copasa would have remained the winner thanks to the fact that its economic project far exceeded that of OPR. But in the technical offer, according to the Ineco engineers, he should have obtained 3% more than what he received from Adif.


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Palencia: 79 million in EU funds

In the third of the adjudications analyzed , for the construction of a platform for the Palencia-Aguilar de Campoo high-speed line in the  Amusco-Osorno subsection , the external engineers conclude that the joint venture formed by OPR, Constructora San José and Torrescámara should have obtained a score of 37.79 points ( 1.3% lower than that awarded by Adif ). It would have fallen to second position in the ranking, while OHL would have gone from third to first place.


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“However, the differences are small, since the three offers studied are located at a difference of only 1 point, both in the first assessment and in the current one,” indicates the report of the external experts on this tender, for which OPR-San José and Torrescámara received a contract for 79.2 million euros from the Next Generation funds of the European Union .

«Once the economic valuation is added, the qualifying order is only affected in the case of the UTE OHL-LIC, which goes from third to second position. The Torrescámara-San José-OPR UTE maintains the first position”, conclude the Ineco engineers.

What do you think?

Written by Sarah Joseph

Hi, fellow readers! So glad you found my little writing nook on the internet. I am a freelance writer, occasionally moonlighting as a digital marketer as well. I love to read, mostly focusing on high-fantasy and thrillers. Here, on Geekybar, I share my thoughts and views on breaking and recent news form all around the world. Oh, and I LOVE covering all the celeb gossips so stick around for some really interesting stuff!


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