The Supreme Administrative Court declares the decision of the municipality of Teulada Moraira to run the local waste collection service itself to be correct and rejects the companies' claim22 April 2020

The Supreme Administrative Court for contractual counterclaims is an organ of the tax office. It has dismissed the counterclaim filed by Fobesa, Urbaser and STV Gestión. The counterclaim concerns the decision of Teulada Moraira's Local Government not to award the contract for "the collection and transport of urban waste (RSU) and, the Ecoparque, as well as the cleaning of roads, beaches, coasts and coves" to third parties. The contract is estimated at more than 48'39 million Euros. With this decision, the Supreme Administrative Court confirms the validity of the conclusion of the Municipality of Teulada Moraira not to award the contract. The tender began during the previous government's term of office, but the new Local Government then decided to, as in the past, manage waste collection through the public company TEUMO.


The Local Council presented the decision not to award the contract to the plenum at the beginning of its term of office. The matter was in the interest of the entire community. Teulada Moraira can manage the service itself without having to involve and pay private companies. The court's decision confirms that in this case, it is in the general interest of the municipality and that public authorities can carry out the management of waste collection and street cleaning more efficiently and at a lower cost.


Below we describe one of the court's rulings, which confirms that "the municipality intends to use the municipal funds most optimally and efficiently and with low expenditure". From the court's point of view, the government did the right thing when suddenly faced with the decision to formalise a million-dollar contract for the awarding of street cleaning and waste collection services they began to ask questions. The ruling stated that "the municipality had sufficient surplus to keep it available for future investments". Thanks to a change in the provisions of the Real Decreto of March 24, 2018, when the Spanish government permitted investments in vehicles and machinery for cleaning services, the Local Government was in that position.


The reports of municipal experts and TEUMO confirm that the saving of € 247,759 by direct management is justified. As a result, the municipality can freely decide to stop the process of contracting. It is correct that the contract awarding had been put out to tender, but if three primary conditions are met, which is the case here, the process does not need to be finalised. First, the interested party must communicate the decision not to conclude the contract to all parties. Secondly, the companies concerned must receive compensation for the costs incurred as a result of the presentation of their offer. Thirdly, the interested party must prove that the decision is in the public interest.