PPDA should protect and follow up whistle-blowing bidders
Posted Tuesday, March 5 2013 at 02:00
Some suppliers are not content with the way some procurement processes and administrative reviews are conducted. Last year, a number of suppliers/contractors were suspended of course for genuine reasons such as forgery of documents. In some of these cases, you could clearly see that procurement officers were indeed part of the game, by either ignoring to check the authenticity of the documents or colluded with bidders and disregarded the need to check such documents.
Because bidders have got their own intelligence network, they are the ones that blow the whistles to alert the relevant authorities. It’s therefore disturbing to note that when investigations are constituted and culprits unveiled, it’s only the bidders that suffer consequences.
Procurement officers who may have actually been found to be part of the game are let off the hook at times with only words of caution. Another disturbing vice that has cropped up is the blacklisting of some chosen bidders by procuring entities. When a bidder makes a formal complaint whether frivolous or holding merit, it’s very common that such a bidder will be “blacklisted” for as long as those who feel offended are still in place.
PPDA should ensure that bidders are protected, they should for example make independent verifications to check if a bidder who raises a complaint ever wins a tender at a PDE they have been contending with.
Samson Richard Tamale,