Namibia: Grootfontein Rubbishes Dustbin Tender Irregularities

The Grootfontein municipality has dismissed allegations that it has inflated a tender to award a N$1.9 million contract to supply 1 000 dustbins to the local authority for the next three years.

The council said the allegations levelled against it are baseless and devoid of any facts.

"We regard the unfounded allegations as a failed smear campaign and a deliberate attempt to discredit the good name of the council," said its spokesperson, Luke Salomo.

Salomo said the allegations levelled against the municipality emanated from a report by the bid evaluation committee, which contained arithmetic discrepancies.

According to Salomo, it appeared to some staff members that the tender amount was changed to influence the tender outcome and subsequently favour some companies, but the council maintained that some of the figures submitted by some companies were wrongly calculated by (BEC) hence they differed from the amount in the bid documents.

Salomo said the procurement committee (PC) detected the discrepancy during the review process.

"It was during this review process that the PC detected discrepancies between the amounts submitted in the bid documents from two bidders and the figures reflecting on the bid evaluation report," said Salomo.

He further said that the discrepancies led to different recommendations from the procurement and bid evaluation committee to the CEO.

Salomo said it is against this background that the discrepancies led some staff members at the council to assume that the tender amounts were changed to manipulate the tender outcome.

"The municipality can proudly say that because of its thorough checks and balances, no fraudulent or erroneous awards could take place. Moreover, upon scrutiny by the CEO, the arithmetic errors were equally detected and the CEO notified the PC to correct the figures and ensure that whatever was tendered for should correctly reflect," said Salomo.

Meanwhile, the council maintained that the bid was not awarded and there was no intention to award it to any bidder.

The council stressed that it remains committed to delivering quality public services to all its citizens and stakeholders.

"The new leadership remains committed in terms of service delivery to all its citizens and stakeholders. No amount of cheap politicking and badmouthing will derail the institution from providing quality and sustainable services to the inhabitants," said Salomo.

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