Guyana’s leading construction firm, BK International Inc, has filed a motion against the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) to have the contract for the rehabilitation of Aremu road withdrawn from a mining company.
BK International claims that the award of the contract was made in violation of the provisions of the Procurement Act 2003. The company is contending that it was procedurally improper and unlawful.
Managing Director of BK International, Brian Tiwarie, claimed in an affidavit that four bidders were invited to bid for the rehabilitation of the Aremu Road Phase 1, Emergency Works Region Seven.
The companies invited to submit their sealed bids were Mekdeci Machinery and Construction Inc. , BK International Inc. , R & A Construction, and CB&R Mining which is owned by Chunilall Baboolall.
The special invitation sent to BK International outlined that the bidding will be conducted through the National Competitiveness bidding (NCB) procedures, specified in the Procurement Act 2003.
Of the four companies, three responded. The bids made by the companies were as follows; CB & R Mining -$385, 562,188, MMC Inc.- $525,413,240 and BK International- $379,707,900.
Firstly, according to the Invitation to Bid (ITB) 5.4 of the Bidding Data Sheet, it orders that bidders in order to qualify must submit their NIS and GRA Compliance Certificates.
However, according to the affidavit, the mining company that was awarded to contract did not submit these certificates.
In addition, the mining company did not submit any information required by the Procurement Act as it relates to general experience, specific experience, personnel capabilities, equipment capabilities, evidence of cash in hand, lines of credit etc.
The company did not even provide any documentation to prove its legal status. Tiwarie claims in his affidavit that a check at the Deeds Registry in Georgetown and Suddie, Essequibo exposed that CB & R is not a company registered in Guyana nor is it registered as a business name under the business names (Registration Act).
Tiwarie says that under the Act, the evaluation committee is supposed to use only the evaluation criteria outlined in the tender documents. The tenders are supposed to be evaluated and the lowest tender determined.
The Act also says that the evaluation committee may regard a tender as responsive only if it confirms to the requirement set forth in the tender documents.
BK International had initially complained to the GGMC and according to the company, nothing was done.
Tiwarie in a letter to the Ministry of National Resources and the Environment said, “There was a meeting on July 22, between the representatives of BK Quarries Inc. and the Ministry of National Resources and the Environment. The two after discussing the issues regarding the evaluation of the Aremu Road, requested an investigation to be done by the Caribbean Engineering and Management Consultants Inc (CEMCO) before the commencement or continuation of any said works by the mining company on the project.”
“CEMCO, after their investigations, reported that CB&R Mining does not qualify to even be considered as a bidder and that the contract should not have been awarded to them.”
According to the findings of CEMCO, the mining company did not provide twelve of the requirements as specified by the Procurement Act, hence BK has taken to the high court to seek justice.
In response to the affidavit in support of the motion made by BK International, The Deputy Commissioner of the GGMC, Newell Dennison, said that the procurement Act applies to procurement entities and GGMC is not a “procurement entity” as defined by the Act.
Dennison contends that the procedures undertaken to conduct the bidding, were not referred to in the Act and as such, the Mining company complied substantially with those provisions.
In another report on the Aremu Road Rehabilitation Project, GGMC said that the bid of the mining company was awarded full points as opposed to other bids. The company was specifically involved in maintaining the Aremu Road for the past 15 years.
He said that the evaluation committee examined the bids and structured a system such that the points were earned in two competencies: Non Financial and financial criteria. The Non financial criterion addresses the readiness of main equipment, relevant experience, past performance and resources whilst the financial criteria addressed the actual cost of bids.
It was further stated that the commission did not require any information on GRA, NIS, litigations pending, and CV’S of Staff from the company. To date, in excess of $37 million worth of work has been completed.
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