LAWYER CALLS FOR NEC PROBE
Concerns have been raised regarding the procedures and processes employed by the National Energy Corporation (NEC) regarding tender for the provision of general maintenance services at Savonetta Piers Three and Four.
And a call has been made to Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine to immediately launch a probe into the tendering process.
Attorney Martin George has sent a seven-page letter to Ramnarine pointing out that NEC, as a state-owned corporation, had “certain duties and responsibilities when it came to dealing with what was essentially taxpayers’ money.”
A copy of the letter was also sent to Attorney General Anand Ramlogan.
George is acting on behalf of Associated Dynamics Ltd, of No 7 Lumsden Street, Gasparillo, who submitted a bid for tender and who, the lawyer said, had satisfied all requirements of the NEC.
“We are confident that in your capacity as Minister of Energy with responsibility for NEC, you were not aware of what has been transpiring and we are therefore bringing it directly to your attention so when accountability kicks in, you would have been fully aware of what was taking place and would have had ample opportunity to deal with these issues at NEC so that it could not be said that you were unaware of the allegations of what was taking place at NEC,” the letter stated.
The letter said Associated Dynamics Ltd, along with other companies, submitted its bid and in the tender the price proposal was required for time and labour only.
According to the letter, the bid of Associated Dynamics Ltd was the lowest of all those short-listed with the next bid being almost $1.3 million more than Associated Dynamics Ltd.
“The highest bid of all was some $2.4 million more than our client and it appears that for some reason, as yet unexplained by the NEC, one of these higher bids may be favoured over and above our client’s much more reasonable and cost-effective bid which is based on the fact that it is currently performing the said contract now,” the letter said.
The letter said Advanced Dynamics Ltd was “unofficially told” that it had qualified “way ahead of the other bidders but was not being considered for the award because its bid was too low.
“An approach was made to our client with a proposal that it “upped” its bid by approximately $1.8 million to meet certain “ex officio” terms and conditions of the proposer, then its bid would be successful,” the letter added.
Calls were also made on Ramnarine to:
n confirm as line minister with responsibility for NEC, that NEC as a state enterprise or any members of its bid evaluation team or its Tender Evaluation Committee is seeking to unfairly or illegally increase the cost of NEC and the burden of taxpayers, of the provision of services under this tender;
n confirm that Advanced Dynamics Ltd was not being discriminated against or being sidelined officially by NEC on the basis of its bid being “too low.”
n confirm that there was no official or unofficial requirement by NEC, for ex officio or ex gratia considerations to be issued to anyone or any entity, as part of the qualification/approval process for winning this tender; and
n confirm that NEC, in its final decision to award this contract, would be bound strictly by guidelines of good corporate governance, in an open competitive, transparent, fair and equitable bid evaluation process.
George has given Ramnarine up to 4 pm today today to respond.
Extracted From: Trinidad Guardian Newspaper