Jan 13, 2016 News
Rizwan Nayeen Khan, Managing Director of R&K Investment Ltd/Discount Store, of 102 Regent Street, wants a clearer tendering process when it comes to the supplying of shoes.
Recently, the Education Ministry published a purchasing tender for the supply of 20,000 pairs of school shoes.
Khan said that his company and another, Hardware Depot, submitted bids of interest to supply the shoes for the Education ministry.
He noted that during the tendering process there was no specification of what kind of shoes and sizes were needed.
“Our recommendation was in keeping with what we have normally imported for over 20 years. We recommend for several shoes types with several prices. One was a canvas shoes in keeping with what the ministry asked for.”
He said his company quoted for canvassed top and rubber outsole at a cost of $1,300 per pair.
He said he enquired about the tender during a visit to the Ministry on Wednesday and was allegedly told that it was awarded to Hardware Depot.
He said upon being informed, he had an audience with Ishwanauth Bookie, the tender processing officer of the Education Ministry and was told that the tender is still being evaluated.
“There and then I told him what I had just heard from a woman in the Ministry and he in turn sent me to the Permanent Secretary Delma Nedd. When I went to her she confirmed that the tender was already awarded to Hardware Depot because his price is $1,150.”
He said that he also collected a letter informing him that the tender was awarded to the Depot people at which point he expressed the view that the tender was not fairly evaluated.
“I also asked her for the composition and material that the other group is using to make the shoes and the Permanent Secretary said that his shoes and mine looked the same. However, because I know quality I offered explanations of four levels of quality that could be had and that I was offering the higher level because I was thinking of shoes that would last longer than a year when distributed.
He added, “I told her that for the past 30 years we have been making our own shoes in China and if his price is lower than mine, it is because mine is quality. I then counter offered that I could provide the same quality as offered by the competitor, a grade that can be sold to the ministry for as low as $600 per pair, if price is the issue.”
Khan’s contention is that the ministry needs to be more open about what their specific requirements are as opposed to just an open tender where persons can outbid while providing substandard quality.
He also noted that Hardware Depot never brought in a pair of school shoes in the country prior to this tender.
He said that he has since written a letter to the Education Minister and has also carbon copied it to the Permanent Secretary, President David Granger and to Minister of Finance as well as to the tender board.
The letter outlines his displeasure regarding the tendering process from the stand point of a veteran shoe importer. He said he believes that the school children must get value for their money that would last at least a year as opposed to two or three years as the monies being spent is taxpayers’ money.
When Bookie was contacted he told this publication that he was not involved in the processing of this particular tender, however he noted that both bidders were issued letters from the ministry regarding their bids.
“If there is a problem then Mr. Nayeen Khan needs to respond in writing to protest the award but as far as I am aware it is the Permanent Secretary who was part of the Evaluation of tenders team that evaluated the suppliers.
“The evaluation included them looking at samples before arriving at a decision.” Boodie also said that all other further answers should be sought from the permanent secretary.
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