Government’s drugs procurement agency, Medical Stores Department (MSD) was on the spotlight once again after the Public Procurement Appeals Authority (PPAA) nullified its decision to suspend and order restart of a Sh573.8 million tender for supply of disposable syringes.
The tender was initially won by Salama Pharmaceuticals Limited but in less than a week to receiving a letter from MSD; the procurement proceedings was suspended on allegations of irregularities in evaluation process.
The agency claimed to have discovered a number of irregularities in the evaluation process including leakage of privileged information to one of the bidders.
PPAA said in its recent decision that the annulment of the tender was not justified as MSD did not have the mandate to annul the tender as the act amounted to interfering with the coming into force of the procurement contract.
Annulling the tender, PPAA said under section 55(7) of the Public Procurement Act, the respondent did not have the mandate to entertain the complaint after having awarded the tender.
“The authority concurs with the appellant that by the time the complaint was received from Ms Hindustan Syringes the contract was already in force in terms of section 55 (7)of the Public Procurement Act,” the authority said.
COMMENT: Under Guam law, a protest may be brought against an award of contract, and a contract resulting from an improper solicitation may be set aside, but there is no requirement to do so, even in the face of fraud on the part of the party improperly awarded the contract.