The Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN) has cancelled the N$3.5 billion tender to supply food to public schools in the country.
The CPBN in a statement said it cancelled the bid because of irregularities that occurred during the bidding process.
The CPBN indicated the guidelines for completing the evaluation sheet that is used in the scoring of the evaluation were not included in the document shared with bidders, hence the decision to cancel the lucrative tender.
They further noted that forging ahead with the tender would not create or achieve the expected outcome, which is to promote integrity, accountability, transparency and competitive supply, amongst many qualities.
“CPBN is working with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture to revise the standard bidding document and re-advertise the bid in due course,” reads the statement.
The multi-billion-dollar food tender came under scrutiny after 11 unsuccessful bidders challenged the CPBN’s decision to award contracts to nine of the 96 companies who had tendered for the bid last year.
The companies launched an appeal to the Public Procurement Review Panel.
The CPBN had awarded the tender to James and Young Enterprises, Beva Investments, Sash Trading and Earthworks, Ndakalimwe Investments, Tuthikameni Pamwe Investments, Future Fresh Super Market, Om’kwana Caterer, Stream Two Properties and Fundamental Trading Enterprises.
The review panel found CPBN had materially misdirected itself and acted unprocedural when it disqualified bidders whose Social Security Commission’s Good Standing Certificate was 30 days older than 7 September 2020.
In addition, scoring guidelines were not included in the standard bidding document.
The CPBN was ordered to implement the findings of the review panel and to re-evaluate bids strictly in accordance with the criteria and methodology set out in the instructions to bidders to the extent that they are consistent with the provisions of the law.
However, on 7 October, the Bid Evaluation Committee informed CPBN “that without the scoring guidelines, which were initially excluded from the standard bidding document (and regarded by the review panel as importation or introduction of new evaluation criteria and, therefore, not available to the bidders at the time of bidding), the BEC was not in a position to re-evaluate the bid”.