The years-long controversy at Thule may be solved
Negotiations lead to new criteria regarding the service contract and the controversy at Thule may be solved.
Negotiations have been going on for years
Back in 2014 US Air Force assigned a service contract with the US-owned company Vectrus Services, which made Vectrus Services in charge of maintenance, construction, and canteen operation at Thule Air Base.
This assignment was in a Danish and Greenland perspective not aligned with the agreement between the Kingdom of Denmark and the US - an agreement that goes back to the '50s. That has lead to years-of long negotiations towards a solution.
Greenland Contractors was in charge of the tasks at Thule Air Base before Vectrus Service. Now that Vectrus Service's own contract will expire on 30 September 2024, a new contract is expected to be up for tender next year.
New criteria open up for new opportunities
The new negotiations started after a visit from Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, back in July 2020. That lead to a new agreement with new criteria for the service contract, which got official Wednesday 28 October 2020.
With the new criteria, it will be ensured that the service contract only will be assigned with Danish or Greenlandic companies henceforward. This will mean that Greenland will get the most out of the American presence concerning employment opportunities, apprenticeships, and tax revenues.
Therefore, the criteria are as follows:
- The tenderer is and must be continuously registered as a Danish or Greenlandic company in the CVR-register.
- More than 50 percentages of the company's capital are and must remain being owned by Danish or/and Greenlandic persons or legal persons.
- Non-Danish or Non-Greenlandic persons or legal persons do not and will not have a determining impact regarding the tenderer.
Close association to Greenland is the first priority
Furthermore, it has been agreed that by the next contract US Air Force will prioritize the most economically advantageous offer rather than the lowest price. Therefore, there will be a big focus on the close association to Greenland in the form of offices, the direction, etc. being placed in Greenland.
Moreover, the service contract will contain incentives to occupy most of the Greenlandic labor on the base, likewise apprentices concern.
The agreements will be read closely to ensure no vagueness will appear again Frank Bill, Director of FAD
"It is very good news, that it appears that there has been found a solution on the painful situation about the Thule service contract," says director Frank Bill, FAD. "It emerges from the defence agreements between the US and the Danish Realm, that goods and services to Thule Air Base as far as possible must be supplied from Danish or Greenlandic companies. In the light of that, it is incredible that it would take so many years to define what a Danish or Greenlandic company is," finishes Frank Bill. "The agreements will now be read closely to ensure that no vagueness will appear again."