In January 2023, the JPP deputy, Élvio Sousa, requested the Regional Secretary for the Economy to reproduce by simple photocopy the legal opinion on the concession contract of this public service, awarded to Guilherme Henrique Valente Rodrigues da Silva.
As the party recalls, the objective was to “inform Madeirans about the course of the actions of the Regional Government, since this public entity continues to hide from the population information that should be public and be published on an official website.”
Faced with this request, the Regional Secretary voluntarily sent the authorisation to collect the required documentation in February 2023.
However, since the JPP does not find the aforementioned legal opinion on the official websites of the Regional Government, it began to make it available, on its website, to Madeirans for their consultation and analysis.
“The opinion explains profusely the reasons why Guilherme Henrique Valente Rodrigues da Silva understands that it is possible to renew the said contract for a new period of 10 years, the contract being valid until 11/11/2035, recommending the grantor (Regional Government of Madeira) to place as a condition of extension of the concession “the renunciation, by the concessionaire, to any and all compensation due for the economic and financial rebalancing of the contract.”
The following has been taken from the JPP website Porto Santo Line Process | Together for the People (juntospelopovo.pt)
JPP publishes “Amendment of the Concession Agreement for Public Service of Sea Transport between Funchal and Porto Santo” (January 2023)
On the 2nd of January 2023, JPP asked the Regional Government of Madeira for a copy of the new contract on the renewal of the concession of the regular passenger and freight line between Madeira and Porto Santo with the company Porto Santo Line.
After paying a fee of € 1.05, received the six sheets with the amendment of the Concession Contract of the Public Service of Regular Transport of Passengers and Goods by sea between Funchal and Porto Santo.
The contract signed between Rui Barreto, representing the Regional Secretariat of Economy, and Luís Miguel da Silva Sousa and Duarte Nuno Ferreira Rodrigues of the commercial company Porto Santo Line – Transportes Marítimos Lda, was signed three years before the deadline (when the contract requires only two years) and was approved by the Council of Government in December 2022.
It is recalled that at the end of September 2022, the Regional Secretariat of Economy signed a contract with the lawyer Guilherme Silva, for the amount of € 54,499.00 (fifty-four thousand, four hundred and ninety-nine euros) without VAT (€ 66,427.78 with VAT), with a view to “Acquisition of services with a view to the preparation of a legal opinion on the concession contract of the public service of regular transport of passengers and goods by sea between Funchal and Porto Santo”.
The JPP thus replaces, once again, the Regional Government of Madeira, in the public disclosure to citizens of contracts essential to mobility policies and inter-island transport, contrary to the government propaganda of transparency and open administration.
Concession of Public Service for the Regular Transport of Passengers and Goods by Sea Between Funchal and Porto Santo
The Parliamentary Group of Together for the People (JPP) in the Legislative Assembly of RAM requested from the Regional Secretariat for Economy, Tourism and Culture, a copy of the contract for “Concession of the Regular Transport Service of Passengers and Goods by Sea between Funchal and Porto Santo”, provided by the company Porto Santo Line – Sousa Group.
The request for information was satisfied, and JPP paid the sum of 60.45 euros to collect the documentation.
Following its commitment to the population, and having the knowledge of the problem that is related to the current mobility between the islands of Madeira and Porto Santo, the JPP maintains the course of government scrutiny, inciting the duty of transparency of government activity.
Likewise, the JPP understands that it is a duty of this citizens’ movement to inform and clarify public opinion, ensuring free and universal access to the effective content of contractual documentation, which is currently not accessible for reading.
From the analysis of the documents it is highlighted that:
- The acquisition of the motor ship “Lobo Marinho” was financed with funds supported by the Region and the European Union;
- In point 4 of the 1st Clause of Annex I of the Concession Agreement, it is stated that no port fees are paid for the “Lobo Marinho” in Funchal and Porto Santo;
- In points 4 and 5 of the 1st Clause of Annex I of the Concession Agreement, public areas were ceded by the Regional Government for the construction of maritime terminals, and this construction was also shared in 70% by the Regional Government;
- In point 1 of the 4th Clause of the Concession Agreement, the exclusivity regime of transport is mentioned;
- In the 18th Clause of Annex I of the Concession Agreement, it is stated that the concessionaire does not pay concession rent;
- In paragraph 3 of the 7th Clause of Annex I of the Concession Agreement, it is stated that the concessionaire must have the necessary means to cope with the increase in traffic in the summer period;
- In the amendment of the transport contract between Madeira and Porto Santo of 23 April 2007, the concessionaire is obliged to charter a vessel on time in the international market, with the respective additional costs, as well as the costs of positioning and repositioning of said vessel, borne by the Regional Government.
It also indicates that the Regional Government will have to approve the vessel to be chartered and the costs of chartering on time; whenever it is not possible to carry out the charter in the international market, the Regional Government may authorise the Porto Santo Line to interrupt the passenger transport service, during the period in which the vessel assigned to the concession is in docking and/or maintenance, provided that at least once a week, and through the chartering of a containerized cargo ship, the concessionaire transports goods between Madeira and Porto Santo.