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Reference is made to retort from NDIA CEO Mr. Fredrick Flatts “NDIA says not aware any instruction was given by the minister to cancel tendering” (VV Mar 21) challenging a claim of bids being cancelled and re-tendering. Apparently, Mr. Flatts is not aware that advertisements for said re-tenders appeared in all of the newspapers on March 20 and 21. Steel sheet piling, first tendered in October has been re-tendered on Feb 28 in KN page 54 and due date is March 23. There is also an advertisement in Chronicle page xliii (March 21) retendering 47 projects of cleaning of canals. The bids are due by March 30. Operations of excavation, pontoon, and pumps and other equipment were submitted in January and NDIA has requested annulment of all bids this week. Why were bids cancelled and re-tendered? Was it because outcome of tender evaluation did not find favor? Were favored bidders unsuccessful in evaluation?
Mr. Fredrick Flatts should not allow himself to be manipulated putting out statements that are contradicted by advertisements. Mr. Flatts should consult with Miss Balgobin, head of Procurement Agriculture Sector Development Unit (ASDU) to get a better understanding of what is happening at the Ministry and retendering of projects. Miss Balgobin, daughter of Mr. Tarachand Balgobin, Chair of Tender Board and Director of Foreign Funding at the Ministry of Finance, may be in a position to enlighten Mr. Flatts. Miss Balgobin may have had a lot of experience in tendering and re-tendering as an engineer with MP Investments that bids for projects. She would be in a position to explain why sheet piling is re-tendered?
The Ministry should not treat professionals like Mr. Flatts scantily like what happened to Dr Homenauth who was dismissed from his position despite twenty years of satisfactory performance. He has been replaced by one Jagnarine Singh, a PPP activist. Is Mr. Jagnarine an agronomist or a scientist or does he have suitable science background for the position of NAREI head? Is this the same Mr. Jagnarine Singh who was under ‘fraud charges at GRDB in 2015 and as reported by KN and other media?