Heath tender bidders warned

By Hilary Mare

THE Ministry of Health and Social Services has warned prospective bidders of health tenders who have been making contact with the Ministry’s staff members to influence bid outcomes that they risk debarment, rejection, suspension and disqualification in terms of section 68 of the Public Procurement Act, 2015 (Act, 15 of 2015).

This week, Benetus Nangombe, Executive Director in the Health Ministry revealed that some bidders had made contact with staff members in his Ministry with the purpose of exerting undue influence or to threaten them during the submission and adjudication of procurement bids.

“We would like to strongly caution prospective bidders who are making themselves guilty of this conduct to cease  and desist from this practice forthwith,” Nangombe said further advising bidders to acquaint themselves with the Standard Bid Documents and the Instruction to Bidders which stipulates that if a bidder wishes to contact the Ministry on any matter related to the bidding process from the time of bid opening to the time of contract award, he or she should do so in writing with all correspondences addressed to the accounting officer.

“The Public Procurement Act further provides for procurement clarifications and procurement reviews during specific periods of the bidding process. In this context, prospective bidders are advised to adhere to the provisions of the Act and refrain from engaging individual staff members with regard to procurement processes,” further warned Nangombe.

Advising bidders to rather bid fairly and competitively, Nangombe noted that: “Prospective bidders are informed that any undue influence or attempts to influence brought on to any staff member in the exercise of any power or performance of any functions in terms of the Act, both such bidder or staff member commit an offense in terms of section 66, 67 and 77 of the Procurement Act.”

Late last year, it was reported that around 19 Namibian companies failed to deliver medical supplies, prompting the health ministry to threaten them with cancelling some of the orders.

To address the current shortages, Nangombe at the time said the ministry sought and has received an exemption from Treasury to procure clinical supplies and pharmaceuticals on an emergency basis from manufacturers.

Sixteen “reliable manufacturers” were approached to submit their bids for the supply of the items facing shortages through this process.