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South Africa: Minister baits hook for graft


Fisheries scientists sorting a catch of small ...
Fisheries scientists sorting a catch of small fish and Norway lobster (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 IOL Business Report

March 22nd, 2012

An independent committee, which is likely to be headed by a retired judge, will be trawling through all awards of fisheries tenders following what Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson admitted was a saga over the awarding of a marine patrol contract.

She said yesterday that a black empowerment company, Sekunjalo, had been tainted by dodgy departmental tender processes, which led to it losing its preferred bidder status.

In an admission that one of her departmental branches was a bit “shoddy”, the minister called an emergency press conference on a public holiday to announce the committee’s pending appointment.

Sekunjalo lost its status last month as preferred bidder for the R800 million, five-year contract to police South Africa’s marine resources and conduct marine research.

The incumbent provider, Smit Amandla Marine, took legal action, arguing Sekunjalo had a conflict of interest as it would police marine resources while having a fishing company in its fleet. It also argued the adjudication process was fishy.

The minister said the fisheries branch had been under scrutiny “with regard to alleged irregular processes and procedures” being followed in the awarding of tenders.

Acknowledging that the award to Sekunjalo had been withdrawn “on the basis of advice from senior counsel”, Joemat-Pettersson said that as a consequence “of our own flawed processes, an innocent company, Sekunjalo, has been portrayed as the culprit in this saga and its reputation has been tainted”.

In an apparent reference to Smit Amandla, she said “another company” could have taken legal action against the department for awarding and withdrawing a tender “based on shoddy government work”. “I have consulted with the ministry of justice and constitutional development with the view of appointing a judge to head the committee of inquiry.” Read more.

Ghana: Procurement Authority calls for ceasefire over EC’s biometric brouhaha


Voter Registration
Image by crownjewel82 via Flickr

The Ghanaian Chronicle

The Public Procurement Authority (PPA), has appealed to parties involved in the procurement of equipment for the Biometric Voter Registration System to exercise restraint and wait for the court ruling on the matter.

“The PPA will urge all the parties concerned and the general public to exercise restraint as we await the ruling of the law courts in this matter.

The PPA is a creation of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) mandated to regulate, assess and ensure full compliance by entities to all the provisions of the Act. It does not undertake procurement on behalf of entities but rather seeks to build their capacities to enable effective implementation of the Act,” according to a statement issued in Accra.

The statement was to react to public concerns expressed over the procurement issues and see to bring to the attention of the general public the bare facts and apprise them on the status of the issue.

On the 15th of August, 2011, a petition was received by the PPA from a Complainant-Intelligent Card Productions Systems (ICPS) for an Administrative Review to be conducted in respect of a tender for the Procurement of the Biometric Voter Registration.

The Complainant per its Solicitor purported that their tender for that particular procurement had been disqualified by the Respondent-Electoral Commission on the basis of non-conformance with clause 22 (b) of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663) by not submitting a Certificate of Incorporation.

This, the Complainant claimed, had not been specifically stated or pre-disclosed as a qualifying criterion in the tender documents as required under procurement principles.

The petition further contended that, contrary to the provisions of the Act 633, the Respondent-Electoral Commission invited seven firms instead of the previously five pre-qualified firms.

Thus, the Complainant deemed the action of the Respondent to be unfair, arbitrary, capricious and unconstitutional and therefore sought to secure a number of reliefs.

In response, the Respondent has denied the Complainant’s assertions. Following detailed review of documents and correspondence from both parties, the PPA called for the suspension of the tender process for 30 days to enable it conduct its administrative review of the matter.

However, before the PPA could conclude the administrative review process, it was notified by Solicitors of the Complainant that it has reinstituted legal proceedings against the Respondent.

Thus, the PPA is unable to proceed on the matter pending before court and, therefore, sub-judice. GNA

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