Weeks after the Ministry of Finance received tenders for the supply of computers and accessories, it was disclosed that Digital Technology was awarded the contract.
On September 15th, the bids were opened by the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB), Ministry of Finance, Main Street. The bids were divided into six lots. Reports reveal that the hog of the contract was from lots 1-3, which was awarded to Digital Technology, while lot 4 was awarded to CCS Guyana Ltd and lots 5- 6 to NT Computeac.
The bids opened at the NPTAB are as followed:
Back in 2011, Digital Technology was also awarded a similar bid for the supplies of computers and accessories to the Ministry of Finance. At that time, the company had the lowest bid.
Additionally, in 2010 Digital Technology was also given a $37M contract to supply computers and accessories to the Ministry of Finance.
According to the NPTAB, awards were issued based on
(1) General Criteria of Resp
(2) Technical Specifications;
(3) Technical Capacity and
(4) Bid price. In 2011, Digital Technology was awarded $300M in contracts although there were many discrepancies. On December 8, 2010, Digital Technology was written to by the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies, which falls under the Ministry of Legal Affairs, regarding its breach of the Companies Act. The company was found to be in default of lodging with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies a number of documents. These included Annual Returns, Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss Accounts and Auditor’s Report for 2010. The company was given 28 days to submit the said documents or risk being struck off the register. On July 13, 2011 Digital Technology Group of Companies (as it was registered in Guyana on June 2, 2009) was awarded a contract valued at $223 million for the supply of 1,400 desktop computers to 70 schools across the country for the Ministry of Education. Earlier in the same year the company also received $70M to provide computers, plus servers and overhead projectors for the Ministry of Education. The same company in 2011 had been found to have supplied wrong and faulty equipment to the University of Guyana. And the Minister of Education at that time, Shaik Baksh, had set out to defend the company and cover its tracks in the growing scandal. In fact, a senior University official had related to Kaieteur News that the University, in the past, did buy equipment directly from the company, but it was found that the equipment would soon need repairs. And as a result, the University stopped buying from the company and decided to source directly from Dell, through a relationship established with the University of the West Indies. Investigations in 2011 had also discovered that the company’s American office on its website could not have been found. However, it was discovered that there was an “Antonio and Martin Barber Shop” at the head office address, which was Brooklyn, New York (at 3154 Fulton Street). Questions were also raised on what computer brand and model did Digital Technology offer, whether the company is an authorized distributor for any major computer brand, and what was the level of their staff training for support and maintenance, in order for them to be constantly awarded multimillion dollar contracts?
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