Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC)’s decision to award a multimillion Pula tender to a company that had its bid rejected by its tender committee has raised eyebrows.
The company in question, Mud Hut was awarded the Annual Sports Awards tender despite the fact that it had its bid rejected alongside with other six local companies that had submitted bids.
Some of the companies whose bids for the tender were rejected together with Mud Hut are questioning BNSC’s decision to award the tender to the company. They have raised concerns over what they deem as lack of transparency and bad corporate governance in as far as the tender was awarded.
“The manner in which the BNSC has handled the procurement of the sports awards tender has all the hallmarks of corruption,” says one of the interested parties.
Seven companies had expressed interest in the production of the 2017 BNSC sports awards. Following the various stages of tender evaluation the seven companies were informed they did not meet all the requirements for the tender.
“Please note that the tender was not awarded to any tenderer,” reads a letter from BNSC’s Internal Tender Committee Chairman Kabelo Mmono. It has however immerged the BNSC Internal Tender Committee may have gone against common procurement practice in appointing one of the initially rejected bidders (Mud Hut) to carry out the production of the awards.
The company’s Managing Director Solomon Monyame confirmed to Sunday Standard that indeed his company has been awarded the tender. Sunday Standard efforts to enquire about the processes employed in awarding the tender to the company proved futile as Mmono refused to answer questions suffice it to say he is not obliged to respond. “Why do you feel the need to suddenly make enquiries about the tender? Are you an interested party? I will not answer any questions until you furnish me with reasons as to why you would want to know about our processes,” an agitated Mmono said in a telephone conversation. “I will have to seek legal advice before attending to any of your queries,” he said.
According to one of the bidders, only two of the seven companies were summoned to make presentations before the tender was awarded.
“What criteria did they use to select the two companies if we all did not meet the necessary requirements?” Some of the bidders have also dismissed as false, Mmoni’s claims that they all went through the debriefing process following their ‘failure’ to comply.
At least one of the bidders have written to BNSC raising concerns about the lack of transparency. While it is common practice that following technical evaluation of bids, successful bidders are invited back for the opening of the financial bids, the bidders say that was not the case. The financial bids, they say, were opened in their absence. “It is apparent that there was no transparency during the evaluation process of the tender and as such we have reason to suspect foul play,” one of the bidders said.
The two year contract sought to find a suitably qualified production company for the production of the 2017 and 2018 BNSC Annual Awards.