The much-anticipated construction of the multi-billion second phase of the National Social Security Fund Pension Towers at Nakasero, Kampala, has come to a halt following allegations of corruption in the awarding of the contract to a Chinese firm.
The Office of the IGG yesterday swung into action, on establishing that China Civil Engineering and Corporation (CCECC), was awarded the contract and yet its bid was Shs20 billion higher than that of another Chinese firm, China National Aero-Technology International Engineering,( CATIC), contrary to the procurement laws.
The IGG, in a press statement yesterday, also directed that some of the NSSF members who were on the re-evaluation committee be punished for failure to comply with the procurement laws, leading to the delay in procuring a contractor to work on the project.
“The whole bidding process should be cancelled owing to the amount of information about it that has gone out to various bidders in the review, the public and persistent allegations of corruption,” the press statement from the office of the IGG read in part.
The decision followed a complaint alleging that some of the NSSF staff had their own interests and that the process was marred with corruption.
Despite a report by the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (PPDA) that queried the award of the tender, the NSSF allegedly went ahead to pre-qualify the company, although it did not meet the preliminary requirements.
The PPDA had faulted the CCECC for submitting defective powers of the attorney and using experience of subsidiary companies and thus could not pass the pre-qualification stage but was still awarded the contract.
According to the IGG, the re-evaluation committee could not have been fair and impartial in re-evaluating the bids owing to the fact that it was constituted by exactly the same members, who had earlier evaluated the bidding except one.
The office of the IGG has also directed the management of the NSSF to implement itsresolution of outsourcing services for procurement in respect of projects that are above $2.5 million.