A 40m/- ruling by Public Procurement Appeals Authority against Tanzania Ports Authority for changing evaluation criteria in an electronic single window system (eSWS) tender last year is suspicious and should be investigated.
Tanzania Shipping Agents Association and Container Depots Association of Tanzania Chairmen, Peter Kirigini and Ashraf Khan told Daily News that Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau should investigate the entire ruling as it raises questions.
"TASAA is disappointed with the award which did not follow the legal requirements established by the PPRA. We recommend that the PCCB be tasked to establish if this evasion was not calculated to benefit some individuals," Mr Kirigini said.
Mr Kirigini further noted that PPAA's ruling raises many questions regarding the competence of Belgian based Phareos Group BVBA which was awarded the eSWS tender earlier this year contrary to the public procurement law.
On his part, Mr Khan said the PPAA ruling is simply not good enough hence the need for an investigation as the applicable law was not properly adhered to.
Khan warned that a culture of not adhering to the 2010 Public Procurement Act is becoming normal at TPA which affects efficiency and professionalism.
"As we are implementing Big Results Now at the port, the idea of good governance and respect of the rule of law should be paramount," Khan argued saying the awarding of a contract to Impala Africa to invest in construction of Berths 13 and 14 at Dar es Salaam port is another violation of the law.
He said no tender was floated after a Chinese contractor was disqualified for the work although Impala was announced as the contract winner hence also raises a lot of questions.
"We have big private companies here like Bakhresa Group which is investing at Beira port in Mozambique and many other local companies which could do the job," argued Khan who is also General Manager at Bakhresa Group's container depot.
Mr Kirigini also weighed in against Ministry of Transport and TPA's violation of public procurement regulations. "Award of the construction of berth 13 & 14 to Impala- our primary concern is on whether fair and legal process was followed in picking them.
We are aware that no official tender was floated and that the latter has not done any feasibility study or rather possess any unique skills and features to skip the tendering process," TASAA's Kirigini noted.
He said TASAA is reliably informed that Impala signed a memorandum of understanding with TPA which is against regulations bearing in mind the importance of the project to the country. "TASAA strongly proposes for a competitive tender selective process to be followed.
The bidder(s) should be thoroughly assessed and scrutinised before being selected. Preferably, they should prove to have completed a similar project in other ports/ countries," he stressed.
Two complainants filed cases against TPA at PPAA questioning the port landlord's decision to award the eSWS contract to Phaeros without following proper procedures.
The companies; Web Fontaine and Intertek International Limited and Wia Company Limited joint venture were awarded the 40m/- as costs incurred in the tender under appeal.
Under the law, the Phaeros/ TPA contract would have been annulled and refloated as per legal requirements.