By: Mama A. Touray
The director of procurement policy and operations at GPPA has testified before the LG Commission that BCC sought to procure D13m worth of dustbins and a truck compactor through a restricted tender.
Mr. Ebrima Sanyang also explained to the commission that the council also appealed to the GPPA to allow it to take a shortcut in the procurement of the 15,000 trash bins and the truck.
He said the BCC wrote to his agency to ask for the shortening of the bidding period to 14 days.
Sanyang further testified that GPPA wrote back to the council to indicate that their requests could not be entertained due to the methods it intended to procure the items. He added that his agency advised the council to follow the open tender process in view of the kind of money involved as well as to ensure fairness and competition.
He, however, pointed out that BCC did not identify the procurement method if the minutes of the contracts committee meetings were anything to go by.
Sanyang said the GPPA has reviewed the contracts documents submitted to BCC and the documents showed that Fatima Sabally was the most responsive bidder qualified for the award of the contracts.
He explained that Fatima later informed the GPPA that she was suppressed and that BCC did everything to deny her the contract and awarded it to Kebba & Sons.
“She claimed that BCC served as a stumbling block for the execution of the contracts and BCC later began demanding for terminating the contract because of alleged failures on her side,”Sanyang narrated.
He explained that Lawyer Ida Drammeh, representing Fatima, wrote to the council that her client did not falter and was not accorded the latitude to fulfill her obligations.
Sanyang explained that BCC said the agreement was for two weeks but pointed out that the council wrote to GPPA to seek advice as to what step to take, adding that the council wrote to the contractor, threatening to terminate the contracts within seven days.
“FatoumattaSabally wrote to BCC, indicating that the city council was responsible for her failure to supply the bins because she could get the bank guarantee. The bank guarantee should be equivalent to the agreed sum so that if there is a failure, they can bank on it,” testified Sanyang.
He explained that BCC wrote back to Fatima Trading, reminding her of the 10% payment made to her.
It was, however, discovered by the commission that BCC’s letter to the GPPA did not indicate any payment to Fatima Trading but that a claim for the refund of the 10% was made in the council’s letter to Fatima Trading.