National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has interdicted head of procurement and disposal unit over alleged refusal to avail documents for the Pension Towers procurement process amidst bribery claims in the bidding process.
The interdiction of the procurement boss comes a week after Chinese company, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) was named the successful bidder for the construction of the second phase of the multi-billion Pension Towers in Nakasero.
NSSF Deputy Managing Director Geraldine Ssali wrote to Mr Ellis Biryahwaho on August 6, this year, notifying him about the interdiction as the fund carries out investigations into the procurement process.
In her letter, Ms Ssali laid claims of insubordination and withholding of information in disregard of the Fund policies and procedures. “Owing to the nature of the offence, you have been interdicted from office with immediate effect to enable full investigation and disciplinary procedures to take place. You will hand over fund property in your possession in accordance with code D of the fund’s staff handbook immediately and these instructions should be executed today (Monday) August 6, 2012,” she wrote.
Acting head of Marketing and Communication, Olive Lumonya, who first denied the development, later confirmed it. “It is true that the Head of Procurement and Disposal has been interdicted. However, this is an administrative matter which is being handled within the laid down procedures of the Fund and it has nothing to do with the procurement of the Pension towers.”
However, reliable sources told Daily Monitor that despite the interdiction, Mr Biryahwaho is yet to leave office as directed.
The deputy Managing Director further states in her letter that Mr Biryahwaho had denied her access to information on the procurement process during a board meeting but only got information after making a request through the chairman.
Ms Ssali says during the board meeting, she requested for a copy of the best bidder’s tender document but he refused to avail it and only managed to access it at the end of the meeting by way of request through the chairman.
Information obtained also indicates that the Procurement Authority has been petitioned by other bidders who are alleging that the Fund irregularly awarded the bid to CCECC.
They allege that CCECC’s bid is Shs20 billion higher than that of the lowest bidder and therefore want PPDA to reverse the tender.