Monday, June 5

IEC contract: Losing bidders threaten action

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By Omar Bah

The Gambia Public Procurement Authority has endorsed the Independent Electoral Commission’s decision to award the US$3 million election materials supply contract to the Canadian company, ESI.

ESI emerged as the most qualified bidder, the GPPA evaluation team was said to have ruled.

The company has been doing business with the IEC for many years and has supplied election materials to the commission in the past election cycles.

ESI won the first bid but the GPPA said the tender process wasn’t fairly done.

Smart Business Group, the only Gambian company that tendered a bid for the contract filed an objection to the award claiming that it was discriminatory for the IEC to exclude local businesses in the bid.

But now the GPPA has withdrawn its objection and endorsed the award of the contract to ESI. The commission is expected to write to the unsuccessful bidders by today to inform them about the award of the contract.

But according to our source at the GPPA, Dermalog, a German company, Ekemp International, a Chinese company and Smart Business Group, a Gambian company which were competing with ESI have threatened to take legal action against the IEC.

“The GPPA were doing everything professionally. I could not understand what suddenly went wrong. The issue is that the ESI was not responsive during the first bidding process. The German company was deemed to be more responsive but they offered the highest bid price but what stopped the IEC from telling the company to consider bringing their price down,” the source said.

When contacted for comments, IEC Chairman Alieu Momar Njai, said the awarding of the election material contract has not been finalized and declined to comment further.

The GPPA director general, Saloum Malang, told The Standard yesterday he was not in a good position to comment on the matter.