Alleged conflict of interest - A survey of the contracts called for WMA

10 years, 8 months ago - October 24, 2011
Scrutinize all contracts awarded by the Wastewater Management Authority (WMA), the last ten years. It is the wish of a group of bidders who decided to take the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

The Bid Evaluation Committee of the Wastewater Management Authority (WMA) is blacklisted. It is alleged that its members have not shown absolute rigor in the evaluation of tenders for certain exercises. Due attention was not given to provisions relating to conflict of interest. This is essentially the denunciations of a group of bidders who turned to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). 

According to their investigations, the WMA awarded contracts to companies that have ties to other bidders.In some cases, two bidders have common directors. In other cases, large companies and their subsidiaries have made offers in the same year. According to the whistleblowers, these practices violate the clauses (h) and (i) the Letter of Bid and clause 5.3 of the Instructions to Bidders (ITB) of the Public Procurement Office. 

Thus, their offers have been rejected de facto, of According to clause 5.3 of ITB, "A bidder Shall Not Have a Conflict of Interest. All Bidders found to Have a Conflict of Interest Shall Be disqualified. "

In the Letter of Bid, a bidder undertakes that its subcontractors, suppliers and himself have no conflict of interest with other bidders, "We, Including Any Subcontractors or Suppliers for Any hand of the contract, do not Have Any Conflict of Interest in Accordance with ITB 5.3. "He also says he does not participate in another offering in the same year tender:" We are not Participating, as a Bidder or as a subcontractor, in More than one bid in this bidding process in Accordance with ITB 5.3, Other than alternative offers Submitted in Accordance with ITB 14. " 

In addition, clause 5.3 of ITB lists eight possible cases of conflict of interest between two bidders. If they hold at least a "controlling partner" in common, if they get or had received direct or indirect subsidies from each other, they have the same "legal representative" for a fiscal year call for tenders if they have a link, directly or through third parties, allowing them access to information "about gold influence on the bid of Another Bidder, or influence the decisions of the employer regarding this bidding process ".

If a bidder participates in more than one offer in a year, this will lead to disqualification: "Participation by a Bidder in More Than One Bid Will result in the disqualification of all Bids in Which Such Bidder IS Involved. However, this Does not limit the inclusion of the Sami in More Than One subcontractor bid. "If a bidder has acted as a consultant in the preparation" of the design or technical specifications of the Work that are the subject of the bid. "If a bidder or its" affiliates has-been Hired (Or Is Proposed To Be Hired) by the Employer as Engineer for the Contract implementation. " 

If these accusations are true, the investigation by the ICAC may run much of ink. 

Two heads sought

Officials from the Department of Public Utilities contrive to eject Kushal Lobina and Moussa Allybakus Board of Directors of the WMA. Reasons given: the President and that member shall serve for more than five years in this decision-making body. However, the Minister may use its discretion to retain them.The disconnection of these two strong-minded is desired by a clique within the department. For this duo stands up to the interference in the daily management of the WMA. Kushal Lobina is a hard bone, being kin to Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam. 

Damages of Rs 60 million in Bambous

After the revolt of the people of Bamboo, the government opted for the relocation of the treatment plant wastewater underground construction near the church of Saint-Sauveur. This will have a very salty note. At WMA, we expect a claim for damages of any Rs 50 million from the firm that won the contract. An underground pumping station does not cause discomfort for four reasons. It is underground. Since it is waterproof, there is no risk of overflowing sewage around the church of Saint-Sauveur. No more, no foul odor will spread only in the vicinity, and no pump noise will be heard.According to the WMA, the construction of a pumping station in Bamboo is essential. The reason is simple: this region is below compared to other parts of Western and especially-Wilhems Plains. Thus, for its wastewater can be transported to the treatment plant, it is the pump. 

The 2014-2033 plan 

The government has set itself the objective of improving the rate of the population connected to the network, from 26% in 2008 to 50% in 2013 and 80% in 2033. To date, the network of sewers entirely covers 553 kilometers and includes 12 236 manholes and 60 pump stations and 19 treatment plants waste water. To achieve the objective in 2033, a master plan is being prepared to cover the period 2014-2033. The study, which lead to the development of this plan is funded by the African Development Bank (ADB) amounting to Rs 28.4 million and the Government of Mauritius (Rs 6.2 million). This study will recommend changes necessary, including the tariff system to ensure cost recovery.

While taking into account the social character of these services, cross-subsidies between users and administrative efficiency. It will assess the institutional arrangements and implementation of relevant national legislation and make recommendations for effective management of wastewater , sanitation and the provision of services. This study will include specific recommendations for Mauritius and Rodrigues. In addition, the plan will enable the Mauritian government to evaluate and revise its strategy for sustainable technical, institutional and financial sector.

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