Lobatse High Court judge Michael Leburu has interdicted the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) from proceeding with tender number “CAABO3\09-10 serve tenancy opportunities in the new terminal building at SSKA” until his Court makes a determination on the issue of the tender.
He said that the reopening of the tender by CAAB is unlawful and that CAAB shall forthwith consider Produce Links’ tender documents issued with number 31 and 32, without payment and that CAAB should pay costs of the application.
The order, according to submissions by Otlaadisa Kambai, who represented Produce Links, follows after the Civil Aviation Authority had advertised and invited tenders or tenancy opportunities at Sir Seretse Khama Airport.
Kambai said that his client, one Ndlovu, had then responded to the advert by submitting the required documents before the closing date, which was 12 November 2009 as per the tender advert.
After that, his client paid the required P10, 000 and got a receipt for the payment. Then his client was informed that their bid was in phase two of the tender and that they should collect their tender documents for safe keeping.
Ndlovu accordingly collected the tender documents for safe keeping as was advised.
Then on the morning of 26 April, 2010 he accessed his mail and read a message from the tender consultants reminding all interested parties about the final date of the tender being the 26 of April, 2010.
The email correspondence did not indicate the time deadline when the CAAB would stop receiving tender documents but that the next one from the consultant indicated the closing time and date.
After that mail, Ndlovu left for the purpose of returning the tender documents as he had already tendered. On arrival, he was requested to make a payment for the said tender and he advised the tender committee that he had already paid the tender fee but notwithstanding the proof of payment, the CAAB representatives insisted that he should make another payment.
Kambai said that because of this unreasonable demand by CAAB representatives, his client was unable to submit the documents to be considered for the awarding of the tender. That they were therefore following instructions of their client, demanding the suspension of the impending opening or award of the tender quoted above on the basis of the fundamental irregularities in flouting the procedures for application of tender procedures experienced by his client by doing the following:
ÔÇó By demanding that his client should make an additional payment of a fee before his documents could be accepted for consideration notwithstanding proof that their client had already paid the tender fee.
ÔÇó That the decision by the consultants to use the unreliable medium of communication in the form of email when the tender notice clearly prohibited the use or email or facsimile, the dissemination of misleading information by the CAAB representatives requiring client to collect their submitted tender documents on the pretext of safekeeping when the authority, in fact, wanted his client and other bidders to retender.
ÔÇó That, in the final analysis, the conduct of the CAAB and its consultants in handling this tender fell short of basic rules of transparency, fair and open competition imperative in tendering procedures resulting in their client being unfairly disadvantaged to submit his documents for the tender.