Oct 05, 2016 News
It appeared that not only was a fake quotation used by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) last year in a multi-million-dollar contract for communications, but there may have been other instances where tender documents were fiddled with.
In another contract that has been raising questions, it appeared that GECOM’s staffers deliberately slipped in a high quote that automatically placed a local business at a severe disadvantage.
The discrepancies were found in GECOM’s tender documents for a $14,868,000 order for pliers for the May 11, 2015 national elections.
GECOM went out and collected three quotes– from Standard Distributors, Fix-It Hardware and National Hardware.
Standard Distributors, a King Street business owned by Mahendra Brasse, won that contract to supply 2,400 of pliers/nippers at $6,195 each.
According to the tender documents, Fix-It Hardware submitted a quote for a Diagonal Cutting Pliers costing $9,000. However, the quote appeared to be incomplete.
Contacted yesterday to ascertain if the quote was authentic, a spokesperson of Fix-It Hardware disclosed that indeed GECOM collected several quotes for pliers.
The spokesperson expressed surprise that the $9,000 quote was used as the cheaper nippers were more appropriate for the GECOM job of cutting the seal.
The Fix It quote was for that Diagonal Cutting Pliers- a heavy duty Klein brand that is selling for $9,000.
GECOM was also issued with two other quotes- one for $4,300 and another one for $4,600.
For reasons known only to GECOM, only the $9,000 quote for that heavy duty pliers/nippers was submitted to Tender Board. The quotes for the cheaper ones were left out. The cheaper pliers look similar to ones that Standard Distributors supplied.
The brand submitted by Standard Distributors -TUV Product Service- is not one immediately known.
On the streets similar TUV quality is about $600 per unit.
GECOM wanted those pliers to cut seals on the ballot boxes. There were several other things wrong with this tender document.
GECOM is under investigations by state auditors for a $100M communication radio purchase last year from Mobile Authority, owned by Michael Brasse, brother of Mahendra Brasse.
On Monday, Massy Technologies Guyana Limited confirmed that a quote included in tender documents was not from that company. No quotes were issued in 2014 or 2015 to GECOM, the company said.
Auditors have reportedly expanded their investigations to include a number of multi-million dollar contracts.
Last year, GECOM doled out over $700M in contracts with more than 40 percent going to the two Brasse bothers.
They supplied batteries, toners, chairs, stationeries and the now infamous communications radio sets, for which $100M was paid.
Many of the contracts were rushed through for the May 11th elections with significant evidence of inflated prices.
GECOM’s Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, has said that it was the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board that authorized the contracts.
GECOM declined further comment stating that there is an ongoing state audit.
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