Sep 23, 2021 Letters
Reference is made to your expose on what appears like “insider bidding” at NDIA, front page report captioned “Govt. retenders single project four times for item supplied by only one company” (Sept. 19). This is one of the finest investigative journalist reports explaining how contract bidding could be manipulated. Why re-tendering the same project of procuring sheet piles four times when earlier tendering and bidding had met the requirements? Why put this project to tender when it is sole-sourced? Why not simply pay a commission to a contractor to procure it? From this excellent report, it can be deciphered that selected bidders may be contracted to supply materials that do not meet specs and or provide services for which they are not qualified.
I applaud the reporter (s) and KN for the courage displayed to publish this report. I also note there is nothing libellous in this report. It does not scandalise anyone’s name. It reported facts of what happened and it produced evidence to support the facts. I hope this is a start of an investigative journalist policy exposing questionable practices to force the government into greater accountability and transparency.
Questionable tendering practices do not stop at sheet piling but at almost every bid of every tender in every Ministry. It is now learned that the Agro ministry will allow for VAT exemption on the sheet piling tender. This is unfair to bidders of other projects. Previously, all bids had to include VAT. The new policy will set a precedent for a VAT waiver. Contractors who put in a bid will walk free of the VAT. In fact, information out of the Ministerial Secretariat indicates that VAT waiver will also be given to selected contractors for the pump stations to be built which is unfair to other bidders. Two pump station bids were awarded two weeks ago while other pumping station tenders were cancelled and are being re-tendered.
I am calling on the Auditor General, Attorney General, and Minister of Finance to end this practice of repeated re-tendering and cancellation of VAT. Is there no limit to corrupt practices?
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