Storm over govt fleet ten­der

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Billy Ntaote

ONE of the com­pa­ni­escompa which failed to qual­ify for gov­ern­ment’s fl fleet ten­der has threat­ened le­gal ac­tion shoul should the Min­istry of Fi­nance pro­ceed to an­nouncean­noun the win­ner to­mor­row as ex­pected.

Che­be­lopele Fle Fleet­data Con­sor­tium claims it was un­fairly trea treated when the ten­der panel dis­missed its bid f for the mul­ti­mil­lion-maloti ten­der last mont month and has since de­manded that the eva eval­u­a­tion process be stopped while its al­le­ga­tions of bias are be­ing inve in­ves­ti­gated.

Two let­ters Che­be­lopele wrote to the c chair­per­son of the Ten­der Panel, ‘Ma­palesa Ra­papa, on 20 and 21 March 2016, make se­ri­ous al­le­gati al­le­ga­tions of ir­reg­u­lar­ity against the adj ad­ju­di­ca­tors and the three com­pan com­pa­nies short­listed for the ten­der (na (names with­held), which the com­pla com­plainants in­sist should dis­qualif qual­ify the fi­nal­ists.

Th The win­ning firm is ex­pected to r re­place South Africa’s Bid­vest in pro­vid­ing ve­hi­cles and rela re­lated ser­vices to the gov­ern­ment ment. Bid­vest has been pro­vid­ing the ser­vice since tak­ing over from A Avis Le­sotho on 1 Oc­to­ber 2015.

This was af­ter Avis, which had provid pro­vided gov­ern­ment with fleet ser­vice ser­vices since 2007, de­cided to withdr with­draw its ser­vices with imme- di­ate ef­fect af­ter fail­ing to agree a new con­tract with the Fi­nance Min­is­ter amid ac­cu­sa­tions and coun­ter­ac­cu­sa­tions of fraud.

Che­be­lopele Fleet­data Con­sor­tium of­fi­cials who spoke to the Le­sotho Times this week on con­di­tion of anonymity said they had not been re­sponded to by Ms Ra­papa de­spite re­peated fol­low-ups on their let­ters. The of­fi­cials re­fused to speak to the Le­sotho Times on record, and said they still hoped to hear from the Ten­der Panel be­fore the win­ner is fi­nally an­nounced.

Ac­cord­ing to one of Che­be­lopele Fleet­data Con­sor­tium’s let­ter ti­tled ‘Un­fair open­ing of Ten­der No 7/2015-2016 on 18 March 2016 at 2:30 pm in the for­mer Ten­der Board­room — Min­istry of Fi­nance’, the rules were al­legedly not ap­plied equally to all the bid­ding com­pa­nies.

The com­pany al­leges two of the three win­ning com­pa­nies do not have the re­quired ex­pe­ri­ence to qual­ify for the ten­der while all the three al­legedly flouted ten­der reg­u­la­tions by putting their names on the en­velopes con­tain­ing their bids.

“This means these com­pa­nies were not sup­posed to be con­sid­ered for open­ing, and for fur­ther stages. We there­fore re­quest that all these com­pa­nies should not be con­sid­ered for eval­u­a­tion as they failed the first sub­mis­sion re­quire­ment.

“Bid­ders ad­vised the panel not to con­sider them for open­ing but they re­fused to do so. We have a strong feel­ing that the ten­der panel has vested in­ter­est in the three com­pa­nies hence their weak­nesses of com­pli­ance were ig­nored.

“We there­fore re­quest your good of­fice to treat this as a mat­ter of ur­gency,” reads part of the let­ters.

At­tempts to get Ms Ra­papa failed this week as her of­fice said she was out­side the coun­try on gov­ern­ment busi­ness. Her mo­bile phone was busy each time the Le­sotho Times tried to reach her since Mon­day.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Dr Mam­phono Khaketla said she could not re­spond to any ques­tions re­lated to the ten­der and re­ferred the Le­sotho Times back Ms Ra­papa.

“This means these com­pa­nies were not sup­posed to be con­sid­ered for open­ing, and for fur­ther stages. We there­fore re­quest that all these com­pa­nies should not be con­sid­ered for eval­u­a­tion as they failed the first sub­mis­sion re­quire­ment

FI­NANCE Min­is­ter Dr Mam­phono Khaketla

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