T&T company’s bids for health contracts on hold
Following the award of contracts to impugned Trinidad and Tobago company Western Scientific, the Ministry of Public Health has put on hold the company’s bids for two other contracts.
The suspension of the bids followed questions raised about how Western Scientific could be used for sole-sourcing by the Public Health Ministry after damning conclusions were made about the company by a Board of Inquiry (BoI) that investigated procurement practices at the ministry. “I am aware that two contracts were signed this week and Western Scientific was issued with those contracts, which signals a green light for them to supply…,” Procurement Officer of the Ministry of Public Health Phillip Bryan told Sunday Stabroek on Friday. “…And there is a bid for two other contracts, and those contracts we will not be going ahead with because that is the instruction I have, but I can’t speak to what items exactly,” he added, before explaining that he did not have the information at hand. In mid-August, government had announced that the company had secured a contract for the procurement of Sysmex reagents for the National AIDS Programme Secretariat (NAPS) to the tune of US$154,154 (equivalent to G$31,937,626).
This immediately raised eyebrows as the BoI, established by the Ministry of the Presidency to look into allegations of mismanagement and malpractices in the procurement of pharmaceuticals at the Ministry of Public Health, had recommended in January that the company’s representative should be barred from future tenders.
Monday, September 11