The Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) is administering infrastructure contract awards based on strict guidelines to ensure processes and procedures are followed.
A statement from the Ministry today in response to allegations of unfair practices during contract awards said officials involved in the process are guided by established Government Procurement and Contract Administration rules for both Simple or Competitive procurement.
The process initially involve the establishment of a Tender Evaluation Committee (TEC) comprising Engineers, Procurement Officers and when required, donor representative are included in the committee as observers if projects are donor funded.
The statement said there were two stages involved in eliminating bid submissions from bidders. The first stage is the Preliminary Evaluation Stage and the second is the Detail Evaluations Stage.
In the Preliminary Evaluation Stage, the TEC ensures that a contractor’s submission requires complete bid documents including a signed bid letter and a signed Declaration or Bid Guarantee from a reputable bank in the country.
The statement clarified that during this stage, some bids are automatically eliminated simply because their submissions fail to meet the initial requirements.
From the Preliminary Stage, bids that qualify from the first stage are moved into the Detailed Evaluation Stage. In this stage a bidder’s financial strength, technical capacity, personnel’s and previous records of past similar works is assessed and if a bid complies at this stage the lowest evaluated substantial bidder is recommended for the contract.
“MID does not discriminately reject any contractor if that contractor complies with all the requirements in the bidding documents. A contractor is rejected if a similar type of work in the past was failed or incomplete,” the statement clarified.
From the identification of the lowest evaluated substantial bidder stage, the TEC makes recommendation to the Ministerial Tenders Board (MB) for further scrutinisation and endorsement for onward submission to the Central Tender Board (CTB) to formally award a contract.
In regards to maintenance works referred to by a complainant in the media last week, the statement clarified that constructing a new road requires a design life for chip seal roads between 10-15 years.
The road section referred in the news article was constructed more than 15 years ago, which means its base and sub-base material is overdue resulting in visible crocodile and longitudinal cracks on the road pavement surface.
A complete revamp of this particular road section will require huge funds, which will affect other vital services and roads in the provinces.
Currently, MID is working with JICA to fund the upgrading of this road sections from the Ministry of Fisheries Head Office at Kukum to the Henderson Airport junction. Preparatory works for this Phase 2 project is ongoing.
MID is working on short-term measures to make the road section trafficable to support movement of goods and services while waiting for the JICA funded road-upgrading project to roll out soon.
In regards to “kickback” allegations against MID Officers, the statement clarified that there are rightful authorities established to deal with such allegations from unsuccessful contractors that wish to seek justice.
On the re-establishment of the Provincial Public Works Department (PWD), the Ministry has commenced initial work by securing land in Gizo Western Province and Gozoruru in Isabel province. Makira and Temotu are the only provinces that still maintain MID facilities while the Ministry is working to recoup the Auki MID facility, which was sold to another party.
Posting of officers to the Provinces commenced this year and will gradually complete when facilities are refurbished.
The statement assured that the Ministry is doing its best to serve the country during these challenging times and will not tolerate any corrupt activities.