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Procurement Board calls for proof of misconduct

2020-10-26  Edgar Brandt

Procurement Board calls for proof of misconduct
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The Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN) has labelled allegations of misconduct in awarding a contractor for the Omburu solar energy plant as “baseless, devoid of any truth” and “rejected with the contempt that it deserves”. 
A company called Shining Energy accused the CPBN of deliberately changing procurement rules to disadvantage companies in the tender for an engineering procurement and construction at the half a billion Namibia Dollar Omburu Solar PV Plant. 
The 20 MW photovoltaic (PV) power plant stationed near Omaruru is being constructed at US$31 million or just over N$500 million at today’s exchange rate.

The CPBA is adamant that all bids were evaluated in line with the evaluation criteria of the Standard Bidding Document and relevant legislation. 
In a statement issued late last week, the CPBN stated it has taken note with great concern of the recent allegations levelled against it in The Namibian newspaper.

 “This allegations are unfounded and CPBN wishes to request the aggrieved party to come forth with evidence to prove the allegations by using the appropriate channels, which have been made available by the PPA (Public Procurement Act),” read the statement from CPBN spokesperson, Johanna Kambala. 
The statement added that notice of the bid in question was published in the New Era newspaper on 23 July 2020 as well as on the CPBN website and social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin). 

“Furthermore, the notice was forwarded by e-mail to all bidders including the bidder in question. An executive summary was also attached to the notice, which informed unsuccessful bidders of the reasons why their bids were unsuccessful,” the statement read.   
According to the CPBN, it received two objections from unsuccessful bidders within the prescribed seven-day standstill period, while it says Shining Energy submitted their objections three days after the standstill period had lapsed. 
The Procurement Board noted that the two objections that were received within the seven-day standstill period were addressed accordingly and the late applicant was informed that the board will not consider its objection, as it was late.  

“CPBN wishes to reiterate that as an organisation, we carry out our mandate with the highest levels of integrity and professionalism and by adhering to the PPA. 
It is evident that the objection by Shining Energy (PTY) Limited was received beyond the standstill period and thus it would have been unethical for CPBN and unfair towards other unsuccessful bidders for the board to entertain the late application received from Shining Energy (PTY) Limited.  The PPA requires that all bidders be treated fairly, hence the decision by the board not to entertain Shining Energy (PTY) Limited’s late application.”  

Furthermore, Shining Energy also questioned what basis the board used to conclude the N$483.03 per KWH as a suitable energy cost for the project. 

“The bidders were required to submit an energy cost metric in accordance with Instructions To Bid (ITB) 34.2 and as outlined in Section III of the bidding documents. The energy cost metric was an evaluation tool to evaluate the bid price against the energy produced by the Power Voltaic (PV) plant in 
year 1. 

The energy cost metric for all the substantially responsive bidders was checked and verified by the Bid Evaluation Committee (BEC) to correct all arithmetic errors in line with the bidding documents and Section 52 of the PPA,” read the CPBN statement. 

2020-10-26  Edgar Brandt

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