Security ministry denies car procurement process breaches

Security ministry denies car procurement process breaches

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

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THE Ministry of National Security, in response to a Jamaica Observer's front-page story on Monday, has said that all Government procurement guidelines necessary for the supply and maintenance of manufactured retrofitted/fit for purpose motor vehicles for the Jamaica Constabulary Force were thoroughly observed.

The Observer story said that Government had again run into problems in its latest attempt at acquiring vehicles for the police force by accepting two bids for a contract for 105 cars, valuing $320 million, from a single dealer.

Three of the island's top new car dealers charged that the national security ministry breached the Government's procurement process by awarding the full contract for 62 pickups, valued at $145 million, and 43 SUVs, costing $175 million, to Stewart's Automotive Group, Observer reported.

Toyota Jamaica, the ATL Automotive Group, and Kingston Industrial Garage are contending that based on the Public Procurement Standard Bidding Document, no supplier should submit more than one bid.

However, in a release on Monday, the ministry said on June 3, 2019 it opened the National Competitive Bidding opportunity for the supply and delivery of 64 retrofitted pickup trucks and 43 SUVs/crossover motor vehicles.

Subsequent to a thorough evaluation methodology conducted by the evaluation committee, the ministry said recommendations were made to award the contract for the supply and delivery of 64 pickups to Stewart's Auto Sales and the contract for the supply and delivery of 43 SUVs/crossovers to Silver Star Motors.

The ministry noted that several suppliers, including those specified in the Observer article, made submissions in response to the public tender advertised. However, not all tenders received by the ministry met the procurement requirements and as such were eliminated at various stages of the evaluation process.

After a thorough assessment by the designated oversight approval bodies, Stewart's Auto Sales and Silver Star Motors scored 100 per cent and 99 per cent, respectively, for their submissions, the ministry said.

Also, in relation to the concern raised by the three new car dealers “with the process and ultimately the outcome [of the bid], which resulted in the Stewart's Automotive Group being awarded both lots [contract] that were on offer in this bid package…”, the ministry said that Silver Star Motors and Stewart's Auto Sales were able to demonstrate that they are separate entities by submitting two separate and valid Public Procurement Commission (PPC) registrations, formerly known as National Contracts Commission (NCC) certificates and two separate and valid Tax Compliance Certificates.

“Both entities adhered to instructions outlined in the Bidding Document; Instructions to Bidders 18.1(a), ITB 18.1(b) and ITB 31.2 (e), bidders should submit the manufacturer's authorisation letter proving that they are authorised dealers of the brand and model of vehicles for which their submissions were made,” it said.

The ministry said, too, that it remains committed to ensuring that its procurement activities are executed in full compliance with the Procurement Law, Regulations and supporting Government Procurement Guidelines. All procurement procedures are guided by key considerations, including fairness and equity; transparency in the thorough selection process; and equal opportunity for qualified contractors, it said.

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