The African Development Bank has rejected a proposal by the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), to have the procurement process for the construction of the Rukungiri – Kihihi – Ishasha – Kanungu road, re-tendered.
In March this year the UNRA Executive Director Allen Kagina wrote to all bidders for the road including the two top bidders, Dott Services and Zhongmei Engineering Group Ltd., telling them about UNRA’s rejection of their bids in accordance with Section 75 of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act 2003’. Zhongmei Engineering Group Ltd. had emerged top in the bidding process.
However, in a follow up letter on May 5 Kagina wrote to the ADB, seeking to have the procurement process of the 78.5 kilometre road restarted, with the argument that the Bid Evaluation Report (BER) had been submitted prematurely.
Subsequently, in a letter dated May 30 addressed to Kagina and signed by a one J. Mutonga for the ADB Country Manager, the Bank advised against cancelling the process, saying that ‘can affect the credibility of the Bank as an institution committed to fairness, transparency and equity’.
Further, the Bank advised that the process carry on, with UNRA strengthening its ‘internal processes’.
‘The Bank reviewed the justifications provided by UNRA on prematurely submitting the Bid Evaluation Report (BER) and advises that this matter be resolved internally and should not be used as an excuse or result in cancellation of a procurement process’.
Further, the letter states: ‘The letter does not deal with the process critically as it omits the fact that that no review of the process was undertaken to demonstrate as to whether the outcome for the award would have been different if the internal control processes had been followed. Thus, the justification provided for submitting the BER prematurely to the Bank before following the due internal approval process is not a compelling reason for the action taken’.
‘…Cancellation of the process (when bidding documents were clear and the evaluation proceeded correctly) can affect the credibility of the Bank as an institution committed to fairness, transparency and equity’.