The Ethiopian government has finally awarded two Chinese firms a 663.7 million birr contract to supply IT equipments for the upcoming national population and housing census.
The tender process, which was marred by a series of controversies, has finally gone to Lenovo and Huawei. These two companies have emerged as winners among a dozen similar suppliers who were competing for months to snatch the contract.
On behalf of the Central Statistics Agency, the Public Procurement and Property Disposal Service has first issued an international tender for the supply of 180,000 digital tablet computers and 126,000 pieces of power banks in December 2016.
The tender has attracted close to nine companies among the invited 18 by the Service. During the bid, a number of back and forth on each evaluation process have caused a delay on the scheduled delivery time of the equipments.
The initial delivery for the equipment was May 2017.
However, complaints from the bidders’ side over the whole process and their respective grievances in particular cases dragged the process.
Because of this, the technical evaluation of the bid was conducted twice. Irregularities on the initial technical evaluation forced the Service to repeat the same process.
After passing through all this, the Service gave Lenovo and Huawei the green light to pass through to the financial evaluation stage.
This left the third forerunner in the bid process – Bak USA – behind. It is to be recalled that Bak USA was initially allowed to pass the technical stage.
According to the initial results from the Service, it was Huawei and Bak USA that passed the technical stage.
However, upon a complaint filed by Lenovo, which challenged the Service’s decision, Bak USA was later dropped from the bid. In return, the Service picked Lenovo to pass into the next stage.
Huawei and Lenovo have then listed their respective price offers.
After more than two weeks of evaluation, the Service accepted their price.
“We have already sent award notification to the two companies,” Yigezu Daba, director of the Service told The Reporter.
The Service asked the two companies to supply the equipments with their least price offers. Accordingly, the two companies will supply each tablets, and power banks at 141.7 dollars and 25 dollars, respectively.
In addition to this, the companies will be paid 15.75 birr and 14.63 birr for in land transport cost, for tablet and power bank, respectively.
The delivery will be done using airplanes. The final delivery point of the equipment will be at the Agency’s premises.
The suppliers will be free from any taxation and customs where CSA is expected to cover all this.
Each company will supply 90,000 tablets. With regards to power banks, Lenovo get to supply 63,000 power banks where as the rest went to Huawei.
For the sake of minimizing risks of accidents during shipment, the tablet’s battery will be charged up to only 30 percent.
The contract signing for the delivery of the equipment will be done after seven working days.
“This specific purchase has delayed many of our preparations,” a source from CSA told The Reporter.
The CSA has allocated three billion birr for the whole census, which is expected to be held in November, 2017. Out of the total budget, 40 percent of it will come from international donors.