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|Subject: UPNG tender board anomalies
Time to kick arses
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Date Posted: 17:37:59 01/07/00 Fri
Here is a juicy one whic will be followed through in detail later. Read through and think about the saga behind the tender practice at UPNG. This is not the first time and it is not likel to be the last. Last year UPNG acting Bursar presented certain contracter with "gifts in appreciation for the work done." Work indeed if only you knew the humbug that has made this practice the culture at UPNG.
UPNG tender board decision.
THE Tenders Committee of the University of Papua New Guinea is alleged to ave awarded a K1.5 million contract to a contractor (named) for maintenance work on some of its residential halls even though the company was not in the final short list and its bidding offer was higher than other contractors.
The committee's action has prompted a lot of debate among some contractors and certain sections of the university who have queried the criterion applied to award the contract.
It is also alleged that the committee is understood to have by-passed advise contained in the form of recommendations by key elements of the university who are understood to have disaproved of the said company's involvement with the university in a similar capacity. Key sources within the university say that the tender board's decision to award
the contract to the company was a surprise as it would have refused to acknowledge the advise given by university authorities.
The company concerned is also alleged to have been the subject of a thorough investigation undertaken in 1995 where among other things serious allegations of malpractice were established by a task force mandated to undertake investigations. According to the sources the successful contractor's costing was exorbitant and was something the university itself could not afford to pay following the directions from the university administration that it had a tight money situation and it should take the lowest bidder possible.
A total of 19 companies were understood to have bidd for the contract in which four were short listed excluding the contractor concerned when the tender committee decided on awarding the contract.The contractor is also named in a report conducted by annvestigation team that was tasked by the former UPNG Vice-chancellor Joseph Sukwianomb who ordered the team to investigate alleged improprieties by the then tenders committee.
Acting UPNG vice-chancellor Dr James Luluaki said that he was aware of the contract being awarded to the company concerned but he was not sure if the committee had by-passed the reports pertaining to the compan's involvement.Dr Luluaki said that it was possible to have the committee review the decision again if there were sufficient grounds to warrant that such an action did occur however he was yet to be fully briefed on the matter.
"I can't go into the details but if there is public outcry on the matter and if there are sufficient grounds to pursue this option then we will do so and until such time, I am concerned at comments from the public," he said.He said he was concerned and believed that everything should be done transparently and if there were instances which propagate that this was done otherwise there was no option but to institute a review.
Dr Luluaki said he was also new to the job and was not fully briefed on how the tender proceedings were carried out however once he was fully briefed by the chairman of the tenders committee he would be in a better position to comment. He added that the university was a public entity run from monies paid by tax payers and he would ensure that the principle of transparency be applied in the conduct of such activities.The UPNG contracting issue has been the subject of prolonged debate and controversy where allegations on the conduct of the tender members past and present have been the subject of some concern. The report commissioned by then vice-chancellor Joseph Sukwianomb in 1995 as not been published however the revelations have been alarming especially in relation to the way some contracts were awarded.The report pointed out that there were instances of irregularities by some of the companies who were involved in the work they were required to do but the university had to honour the contract as it was obliged to.
Dr Luluaki who was then the head of the investigation team had carried out a comprehensive report which called for remedial measures to be imposed in order to prevent a similar attitude from resurfacing again.
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