Oct 04, 2023 News
…cites company’s lack of experience
Kaieteur News – Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) David Patterson on Tuesday wrote to the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) requesting an investigation into the recent contract award to a company he alleges has failed to meet the technical requirements of the project.
In his letter to the PPC, seen by this publication, the former Minister of Public Infrastructure said that, “the technical requirements of the bid documents required the successful bidder to have successfully completed projects of a similar nature and size within the last three years.”
He however pointed out the company that received the $865M contract- Tepui Group Inc. was established in August 2022, thus failing to meet those requirements. Kaieteur News was able to confirm from the owner of Tepui Group Inc., Winston Martindale that the business was registered last year. This publication was however unable to verify the project’s requirement for three years prior experience.
Tepui Group was awarded the contract to construct a pump station at Belle Vue, West Bank Demerara (WBD) through the tendering process at the National Procurement Tender Administration (NPTAB) on August 14, 2023. The procuring entity of the contract is the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA). The company is affiliated with the ‘Guyanese Critic’ who is a close friend of leaders in the People’s Progressive Party, particularly Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo.
In his letter to the Public Procurement Commission, the Opposition Parliamentarian requested that should the award prove defective, necessary actions should be taken against the entities and individuals associated with the award. On Sunday, Kaieteur News reported Opposition MP and member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Ganesh Mahipaul accusing NPTAB of being at the helm of rampant corruption and disregarding the Procurement Act of 2003.
He explained that while the Act mandates that contracts be awarded to the lowest, most responsive bidder, the agency seems to have gone rogue in its application of the law. Mahipaul said that the legislation explicitly underscores that responsiveness pertains not only to the conformity of submitted documents but also the vital criterion of offering the most economically advantageous proposal through competitive pricing.
To this end, he said a strange and alarming pattern has emerged where the lowest bidders, in several recent projects, seem strangely bereft of responsiveness when the NPTAB bestows contracts upon them. As such, Mahipaul said, “This glaring inconsistency raises profound doubts about the institution’s adherence to the law. Consequently, it is not only justifiable but imperative to call for an immediate and comprehensive investigation into the operations of the NPTAB.”
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