Head of International Pharmaceutical Agency (IPA), Lloyd Singh, says that his company is only given medical supply contracts when the government has to measure up to the transparency requirements of international donors.
Otherwise, Singh said his company is denied supply contracts and without any explanation.
In a heated dispute, the supplier is denying accusations being leveled against him by the government and wants an explanation of why he was told that he was not pre-qualified to tender for the supply of medical drugs.
Singh denied a statement by the New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation (New GPC) that he had benefitted from hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts.
Singh said that the only large contracts he has received are those paid for by the Global Fund for AIDS. These contracts add up to $102 million.
He said his company also received contracts for the supply of medical equipment and laboratory supplies totaling $51 million.
These contracts, he stated, were evaluated by the same National Procurement and Tender Board Administration (NPTAB).
Singh said that he was written to by the Ministry of Health of February 24, and told he is not qualified to tender for the supply of medical drugs for the government.
Singh said that the Procurement Act provides for him to be supplied with details of why he did not qualify, but he said he is being given the royal run around.
He said that the IPA wrote the Tender Board and was told to direct his questions to the Ministry of Health. When he asked the Ministry of Health, he was referred back to the Tender Board.
Frustrated, Singh said he had a meeting with Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon, who told him that the Cabinet only ratifies what comes to it from the Tender Board.
Singh said that he wrote letters to the Tender Board, to the former Minister of Health Dr Leslie Ramsammy, to the former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Hydar Ally, to former President Bharrat Jagdeo and to all the members of Jagdeo’s Cabinet.
Singh said he has not received any replies.
Recently, he said he wrote to the new Minister of Health Dr Bheri Ramsaran, who informed him by telephone that he is looking into the matter.
In a statement, former Health Minister Ramsammy said that the Ministry of Health and the Guyana Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) procure medicines and medical supplies through two mechanisms.
First, he said that medicines and certain medical supplies are procured through a list of pre-qualified suppliers. This list of pre-qualified suppliers has been determined after an open tender process, using public tendering modeled after a World Health Organization (WHO) model.
Secondly, he said certain specialized medicines, laboratory supplies and medical supplies are procured through regular open tender as the need arises.
In regards the first mechanism, the present pre-qualified suppliers are PAHO/WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF, IDA, New GPC and MedPharm.
In 2010, Ramsammy said that the Government of Guyana initiated a pre-qualification mechanism through an open public tendering process to establish a list of private sector suppliers, local and international.
A pre-qualification tender process (an invitation to be pre-qualified to supply certain medicines and medical supplies) was advertised on October 22, 2010.
He said that one of those companies that requested the pre-qualification tender document was IPA.
During the first week of November 2010, the Ministry of Health invited all companies that requested pre-qualification tender documents to a clarification meeting to answer any query the suppliers might have had relating to the pre-qualification process.
At that meeting, Ramsammy said that several of the companies which were present requested that they be given additional time. When the pre-qualification document process was opened on November 23, 2010, five companies submitted bids to be pre-qualified as suppliers to the Ministry of Health.
The National Procurement and Tender Board evaluated these submissions based on its well-known process and approved two companies as pre-qualified companies. The IPA was not one of the companies pre-qualified.
IPA is seeking to know why it did not qualify.
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