Mar 29, 2016 News
Quantity to be sole-sourced to avoid disaster – Trotman
A quantity of medical supplies worth approximately $136 .5 million has been granted no objections from
The batch of supplies is set to be acquired through the method of sole sourcing. This is according to Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman.
Trotman made the announcement at a post Cabinet press briefing on Thursday. The Minister disclosed that Cabinet approved contracts for sole sourcing of a number of medical supplies including Biohit Pipette Tips and Devices, Becton Dickenson Syringes, needles and tubes.
However, during the media briefing questions were raised about the sole sourcing of the drugs and Minister Trotman was asked to give an explanation. This is in light of the fact that, the APNU –AFC coalition had criticized the PPP/C administration in the past for sole sourcing every drug import.
Minister Trotman told reporters that sole sourcing is done when there is a possibly of the process of putting out a tender would cause a delay in delivery and eventually have an adverse effect on people’s lives.
“In an effort to avoid any complaint, loss of life or injuries as a result of lack of medical drugs or equipment the government thought it best to approve this particular sourcing.” the Minister stated.
After the APNU – AFC Government took office last year, Public Health Minister Dr. George Norton spoke of a plan to reform the system of procurement of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals.
Dr. Norton promised that sole sourcing of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals to the Health Ministry would be a thing of the past.
While in Government, the PPP/C administration sole-sourced billions of dollars in medical drugs from the New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation (New GPC), a company owned by Dr. Ranjisinghi ‘Bobby’ Ramroop.
The company had supplied the bulk of the drugs to Government after it was acquired by Ramroop in 1999.
In wake of intense scrutiny and criticisms on their method of procurement, the PPP/C defended its position.
Then, head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr. Roger Luncheon had claimed that the decision to award the contract to the New GPC was not tantamount to sole sourcing.
Luncheon said that the Tender Board picked New GPC from among seven companies that applied to be pre-qualified. He claimed that what the government has been doing is not “conventional” single sourcing, where everyone else is excluded.
According to Luncheon, at no time are pharmaceuticals procured without the procurement agency knowing what the competitive price for the items is.
So, he indicated that anytime a local provider is “selected” that provider’s submission has to be competitive in relation to international providers that actually provide drugs to Guyana and other developing countries. The agency he referred to is the IDA Foundation, the world’s leading not-for-profit supplier of affordable pharmaceutical products.
“So you have to get a competitive price better than IDA for you to get an award. If IDA offers these drugs at prices better than the bids submitted by national entity we are obligated on the basis of our pricing policy…to go with the IDA,” Luncheon HAD stated.
He said this is what makes the procurement of medical drugs from New GPC not sole sourcing. He said that matter of comparing prices is a “competitive component of the procurement process.”
The single source method for the procurement of goods is set out in Section 28 of the Procurement Act 2003.
For single sourcing to take place it must be a case where the goods are available only from a particular supplier or contractor, or a particular supplier or contractor has exclusive rights with respect to the goods and no reasonable alternative or substitute exists.
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