Shouldn’t the lowest bidder gets the contract?

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Dear Editor,

Bids were opened earlier this month and read for a tender contract (NDIA) to supply a fixed quantity of steel sheet piles. This is a re-tendering of a bid put out last November for sheet piling. No award was made last November although several bids were tendered for the correct grade of sheet pile at a competitive price by reputable bidders. There were complaints of the lowest bid not getting the contract last November.

It is the norm that the lowest bid gets the contract once the company demonstrates the ability to carry out the work or supply the required materials.  In this case, the re-tendered bid was awarded last Thursday in memo by cabinet and not to the lowest bidder. It was granted at some $40M above the lowest bid to Dax contracting. Why?

Taxpayers have to fork out an extra $40 million during this tough Covid time. This money could have been used to provide grants to the unemployed. Will there be an investigation? Coincidentally, a high official of the government has been residing in a house of the selected bidder on the East Bank. Is this a conflict of interest? Has the official purchased the house? Isn’t this fishy? The President and Vice President should go fishing daylight instead of night – they may catch a big fish. They don’t have to go to the Boerasirie to catch fish.

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Information available is that all bidders supply the same grade and quality of sheet piles and they all qualify in the other areas outlined in the tender.  Several bids were tendered to supply the sheet piles. The sheet piles were all to be obtained by local contractors from the same company in Holland. Thus, the price for the sheet piles was not expected to vary.

The lowest bid was from Roopan Ramoutar Investments for just over $172 M followed by Jagmohan Construction for over $178M, followed by Original Generating Trading for almost $187 M, followed by Yunus Civil Construction Services for almost $194 M. Dax Contracting was almost $211 M. There were also other bids lower than as well as higher than Dax.

Why was Dax chosen for this contract – costing government almost $40 M more than Roopan? The country needs answers! Would decent Ministers like Anil Nandlall, Ashni Singh, among others allow this gross abuse of funds?

Yours truly,
Sharmila Ally



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