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Tender Process not followed: Audit

November 11, 2014 12:20 am

The Auditor General in its 2010 Audit has recommended that a detailed investigation should be conducted on how the Trade and Industry Ministry awarded consultancy contact to Aliz Pacific.

The Audit has found that the contract worth $500, 000 was awarded to Aliz Pacific for the restructure of the Rewa Co-operative Dairy Company Limited.

The report states this contract was awarded without going through an open public tender process casting doubt on the transparency of the process.

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In April 2010 the cabinet had approved the restructure of RCDC and that a sum of $500, 000 to be sourced from the National Export Strategy Budget held with the Trade Ministry.

After initial discussions with officials of the Ministry, the auditors were informed that RCDC facilitated the tender process, but it was noted that the company did not call or facilitate any such process.

However, it did put out an Expression of Interest in February 2009 for a different purpose after which Aliz Pacific was engaged for Strategic Planning Process including a workshop at a cost of $35, 450 to the company.

The audit noted that the then RCDC Board was informed by a representative of Aliz Pacific in May 2010 that government through the Trade Ministry has appointed their firm to implement restructure in the company.

The Audit sought clarification from the Ministry again and was advised by the Principal Accounts Officer that tenders were not called for the consultancy contract in relation to the restructure of RCDC.

This restructuring which cost the government $562, 500 in 2010 was a separate project from the Strategic Planning Process which was facilitated by Aliz Pacific in 2009 and paid by RCDC.

The two assignments were although for the same company differd in scope and cost and warranted separate tenders.

The 2010 audit also noted that additional consultancy fees were paid to Aliz Pacific in 2011.

Meanwhile in response the department says the Ministry in implementing the project was guided by the Cabinet Decision which had already identified for the consultants for the project and as such there was no need for the tender process.

The Department also says prior approval of the Solicitor General’s office was sought before finalizing the contract with the consultants.

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