Med­i­cal equip­ment sup­plier, min­istry deny wheel­chair ten­der process was vi­ti­ated

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

A wheel­chair sup­ply com­pany has ve­he­mently de­nied claims that it mod­i­fied its prod­ucts to be­come tech­ni­cally com­pli­ant with a govern­ment ten­der.

Last week, OK Ltd filed a ju­di­cial protest against the head of the Health Min­istry’s Cen­tral Pro­cure­ment and Sup­plies Unit, Mater Dei Hos­pi­tal’s di­rec­tor of biomed­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing Chris At­tard Mon­talto, the min­istry's per­ma­nent sec­re­tary and Europharma Ltd, claim­ing that the ten­der process was vi­ti­ated.

OK Ltd said that the ten­der had been awarded to an in­fe­rior bid­der and al­leged that Europharma’s wheel­chairs were not tech­ni­cally com­pli­ant and needed al­ter­ations.

Both the Health Min­istry and Europharma have now filed counter protests.

The lat­ter said OK Ltd’s al­le­ga­tions were to­tally un­founded and were noth­ing more than the fab­ri­ca­tions of a dis­ap­pointed bid­der who had placed fifth in the ten­der ad­ju­di­ca­tion process.

Europharma said OK Ltd wanted to cast doubt on the process in the hopes of gain­ing some pub­lic­ity.

The com­pany also pointed out that the Public Con­tracts Re­view Board had re­jected OK Ltd’s claims and that the lat­ter had not ap­pealed this de­ci­sion.

Europharma also re­jected claims that its wheel­chairs were not com­pli­ant with the ten­der spec­i­fi­ca­tions. It in­sisted that it had been awarded the ten­der be­cause its prod­ucts were sat­is­fac­tory and its bid was the cheap­est. The com­pany added that the ten­der process was trans­par­ent and all par­ties were sub­jected to an equal level of scru­tiny.

In the sec­ond counter protest, the CPSU CEO, the Di­rec­tor of Biomed­i­cal En­gi­neer­ing, the Health Min­istry and its Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary ar­gued that they were non-suited. They also claimed that OK Ltd’s al­le­ga­tions were un­true and un­founded. They also de­nied that Europharma’s wheel­chairs were be­ing mod­i­fied to meet the ten­der spec­i­fi­ca­tions.

Both par­ties called on OK Ltd to cease its le­gal ac­tion and said they would hold the com­pany re­spon­si­ble for any dam­ages in­curred.

Lawyers Antoine Cre­mona and Chiara Frendo signed Europharma’s counter protest.

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