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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Procurement controversies --Sheepish in New Zealand, Policing training in Nigeria

Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
"The $6m contract for the Saudi sheep farm was awarded to Brownrigg Agriculture - long-time business associates and now partners of the Saudi businessman Hmood Al-Khalaf. This is separate to the $4 million cash payment to the Al Khalaf Group.

"During the contracting process Brownrigg Agriculture was paid to provide advice on the so-called business case and was paid by MFAT to travel to Saudi Arabia as part of a team to develop it. The planned second phase of the competitive contracting process was then cancelled and Brownrigg Agriculture was awarded the contract.

"This directly contravenes Rule 21 of the Government Rules of Sourcing that states: ‘an agency should not purchase procurement advice from a supplier that has a commercial interest in the contract opportunity, because to do so would prejudice fair competition’.
Saudi sheep deal 'broke Govt's own rules'
The controversial Saudi sheep deal contravened the Government's own procurement rules for fair competition when the contract was given to a company that was paid to provide advice on the business case, Labour says.

Brownrigg, as the lead provider of sheep, was previously revealed to have been responsible for nearly 200 of the ewes sent to Saudi Arabia coming from Awassi NZ's Hawke's Bay farm. Parker said Brownrigg Agriculture was paid by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to provide advice on the business case and was paid to travel to Saudi Arabia as part of a team to develop it.

The competitive contracting process was then cancelled and Brownrigg was awarded the $6m contract for the sheep farm.

McCully on Tuesday said the Government was "comfortable with the process that was followed in relation to the Agrihub.
Staff Training Contract: Police Commission Circumvented The Rules-BPP
According to a letter by the Bureau of public procurement (BPP) to the chairman of the police service commission (PSC), Mr Okiro, deliberate attempts were made by the commission to circumvent the process of approval of the training programme. The BPP said that the PSC adopted restrictive tender method and invited only three firms to organise the training for its workers in violation of procurement rules and regulations. It further stated that the PSC method of requesting and obtaining proposals from the shortlisted firms for the procurement, without the explicit approval of the BPP, violated Section 40(i) of the Public Procurement Act 2007.

“The commission considered that due to the limited time frame available to which to utilize the funds till the elections, it became impracticable to embark on a Competitive Bidding exercise. The bureau opines that this delay might have been deliberate, given that the Nigerian General elections is an every four years event which permits more than ample time to plan, prepare and perform all procurement procedures associated with the elections. “Therefore the Commission’s assertion that it was impracticable to embark on Competitive Bidding due to the insufficient time before the 2015 elections’ indicates a dilatory conduct on the part of the procuring entity.”

The BPP also picked holes over the non-disclosure of the source of funds for the training, affirming that the quoted figures by the commission were inconsistent with what the contractors demanded. “The provision of N53 million for consultancy fee for the Abuja training programme is rather excessive, as similar training programmes recently certified by the bureau show that Consultancy fees were charged within 10 – 15 per cent of the training cost.
Read the full stories at the links.

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