Report reaching the Nationalist Newspaper has revealed that the Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA)’s US $2 million contract saga, with Mohamed Conteh trading as new twist with the former now stands accused of awarding the contract to a disqualified bidder.
The said contract, which was previously awarded to Alumed the most responsive bidder according to the Authority but was later terminated for reasons best known to them according to our findings, is now alleged to have been awarded to “Constrata” a company previously said to have been disqualified by the same Authority.
According to our investigations, which are backed by leaked letters from the National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA) address to the SLRSA, the SLRSA “did not follow entirely the requirements of the law”
The reason, according to the NPPA, was that the SLRSA had earlier submitted to them that Messrs Constrata (the new awardee) of the aforesaid contract was disqualified in the early stages of the bidding process on the grounds that he did not submit “a letter of declaration”.
The NPPA letter, dated 4th June 2015, furthered that Messrs Kamaz Enterprises another company which according to our investigations was the “second most responsive bidder” after Alumed “do not strictly meet the three years experience required as a prime Contractor in the contract data” despite him submitting a document substantiating that they were in a sub-contractual agreement with Modcon Construction Company Ltd from 2002 to 2012.
The NPPA, in the said letter, concluded by asking the SLRSA to revisit the evaluation process in order to conform to the requirements of the Public Procurement Act 2004; and to also ensure that value for money was guaranteed in the whole process.
But it was surprising to know that despite the advice from the NPPA, the SLRSA on the 10th June 2015 according to its Head of Public Relations terminated its “notification of award letter” earlier issued to Alumed International on the grounds that he failed to submit additional documents and was also alleged to have submitted forged NRA tax clearance certificates, an allegation he denied.
With such development, according to our findings, the NPPA was left with no alternative but to write the SLRSA again. In a letter dated 25th June 2015, addressed to the procurement Manager of the SLRAS , the NPPA stated that they were “concerned by the timing of the enquiries as suck enquiries should have been done during the evaluation stage of the procurement process” On that note and in the interest of fairness to all parties concerned they furthered that the “NPPA advises SLRSA to inform Alumed International (SL) Ltd of this latest discovery” they claimed to have been revealed by the National Revenue Authority (NRA) and that they should also give them (Alumed) time to respond before further action is taken; an advice they also defied.
Against this background, a procurement specialist from the NPPA spoken on condition of anonymity said they wanted to know how the once so-called “most responsive bidder” (Alumed) during and after the evaluation committee’s meet turned out to be the alleged frustrated and the one who didn’t even made it to the last three came to be awarded the contract? How was the bid evaluation done by the Evaluation Committee? How many institutions were there to see through the evaluation? Didn’t a background check done before the notification of award was sent? What were tge pass/fail evaluation criteria? What was the maximum “stand still period” between the NPPA contract award decision and the actual conclusion of the contract?” The procurement specialist asked.
He concluded that “as we all know, corruption has relegated our land to acute backwardness and underdevelopment; and the evaluation done for over a million dollar contract before recommending Alumed company as the ‘most responsive’ bidder warrants through explanation and clarifications”.
It could be recalled that in August 2014 ,the SLRSA issued out an advert for the construction of an ultra-modern office at their Africanus Road branch at kissy. Nine persons/ companies, according to SLRSA, submitted bids including Alumed.
The SLRSA furthered that evaluation committee recommended Alumed and a “letter of notification” was sent to him with the Authority spelling out additional conditions to be fulfilled before a contract could be assigned or award.
But months later, the SLRSA terminated the notification award and awarded it to ‘Constrata’ a company our findings now proved to have long been disqualified by the same SLRSA during the preliminary stages of the bidding process.