Tunisia: Suspected Conflict of Interest - International Tender - Valis Issues Clarifications

The Tunisian Constituent Assembly in 2012.

Tunis/Tunisia — SOTEME, VALIS, SERPOL, a consortium of Tunisian companies, on Sunday, reacted to various media reports on its participation in public procurement in the environment field and the possible conflict of interest between Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh and the Tunisian state.

In a statement, it said its participation in the international call for tenders 32/2019 and its selection as the lowest bidder took place well before Elyes Fakhfakh, the partner in the capital of the company VIVAN, itself a partner in the capital of VALIS, which is a member of a tripartite consortium, was called upon by the President of the Republic to form the current government.

The consortium added that the conclusion of the procurement in accordance with the provisions of Article 73 of the 2014 Decree on public contracts also took place before Elyes Fakhfakh was called upon to form the current government.

It stated that the award of the contract was made using the Korean technique for digitalisation of the data processing.

The Consortium's participation in the 32/2019 call for tenders, like two years earlier, broke a situation of rent between the two historical players, leading to a considerable drop in market prices, the same source reads.

The consortium and the company VALIS have scrupulously applied the laws in force, in particular Decree No. 2014-1039 of March 13, 2014, regulating public procurement from participation in calls for tenders to the execution of contracts.

It pointed out that the results have not led to any dispute from the participants in this procurement.

The counting report took place before the vote of confidence in the government team chosen by Fakhfakh.

The latter sold all his shares in the company VIVAN, which holds shares in the company VALIS, and he has never been either a director or a member of a decision-making body of the company VALIS.

It is also important to stress that there was no influence peddling that led to the award of the 32/2019 tender to the Consortium (SOTEME, VALIS and SERPOL). Similarly, the Consortium did not enjoy any favours from the Prime Minister.

It should be stressed that the Consortium will not hesitate to assert its rights against any person who, through statements or publications, has caused or will cause it prejudice with its partners, especially financial ones.

As a reminder, the company VALIS, whose activity is essentially oriented towards environmental economy, is a Tunisian company created in 2018; its capital amounts to 340,000,000 Dinars and is held up to 51% by the company Moulin Holding, up to 34 pc by the company VIVAN where Fakhfakh holds shares and up to 15 pc by the company SERPOL.

The company VALIS or a group in which it participates does not have any contracts worth 120 million dinars with the State, as has been reported in some media.

The company Valis participated in a group of five international companies in a pre-qualification for possible participation in a future call for tenders for the recovery of waste in the Gabès region.

The SOTEME VALIS SERPOL consortium recalls that in October 2019, the National Agency for Waste Management (ANGED) launched an international call for tenders under the number 32/2019, divided into six (6) lots and this in order to stimulate competition and especially to break the control of the Tunisian waste market exercised by the duo SEGOR and ECOTI for more than ten years.

The opening of the bids scheduled for November 28, 2019 was delayed by ANGED to December 25 of the same year, date on which, the TUNEPS system recorded that the consortium (SOTEME, VALIS and SERPOL) was selected insofar as it was the lowest bidder in a combination of two (2) lots out of the six (6) proposed.

In its report dated February 10, 2020, the ANGED Tender Evaluation Committee approved the procedures of the latter and transmitted its report to the supervisory Ministry on February 14, 2020.

On February 27, 2020, the file relating to the call for tenders was transmitted to the Higher Audit Commission for Public Contracts which acknowledged receipt on March 2, 2020, and approved it on April 16 following the award of all six lots to the various bidders.

More From: Tunis Afrique Presse

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.