The Public Procurement and Property Administration Agency over the week lifted suspension on a multi-million birr tender imposed following a complaint by a bidder.
Contractors were submitting bids for the construction of a boarding school for gifted students under the auspices of the Ministry of Science and Technology, to be called Gifted & Talented Ethiopian School (GATES).
Santa Maria Construction PLC had taken issues with the response to its technical proposal, and decided to lodge a complaint with the agency.
Of the total number of points to be earned in the bid evaluation process, the technical phase takes up to 70 percent with the remainder allotted to financial evaluation. Moreover, both the technical and financial proposals will separately be evaluated out of a score of 100 points.
In this respect, at the technical stage, four bidding companies collected points ranging from 71 to 97 percent, and Santa Maria is said to have received 91 percentage points.
Meanwhile, Santa Maria was also not happy about points given following evaluation of some aspects of its technical proposal. In one particular instance, the company got eight points out of a total of 10. In its complaint, it argued that it deserved to get full points.
“We found this argument by the contractor wrong,” said an expert involved in the case.
Santa Maria also expressed dismay over evaluation relating to the contractual status of its employees, service year as well as ownership of its machinery.
When it comes to its employees, some of them were found to be without a contractual agreement with the Addis Ababa City Bureau of Labor and Social Affairs.
As for the service year of its machinery, two of its batching machines were found to have been in service for four years and three months. This has resulted in Santa Maria getting 50 percentage points out of 100.
It is specifically stated in the tender document that contractors would get full points if batching machines have been in service for less than four years.
Santa Maria argued that the fact that its machines had been in operation for an extra three months was an insignificant factor, and thus it deserved to get full points.
Following Santa Maria’s complaints, the agency has been looking into the case for the past two weeks, and finally decided to dismiss it, paving the way for the bidding process to proceed.
Established almost two decades ago, Santa Maria has been participating in a number of construction projects, including Hawassa University’s Civil Engineering Laboratory and expansion of the TB center of St. Peter’s Specialized Hospital in Addis Ababa.
Once the evaluation and the awarding processes are finalized, the construction of the boarding school will commence in Burayu town of the Oromia Regional State.
In the just ended fiscal year, 233 complaints had been lodged with the agency by suppliers of all sorts against various government offices. Meanwhile, the agency has received 302 reports from different federal offices against suppliers.
By Dawit Endeshaw