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Sep 7, 2021

Was the Contractor General Aware of the Microsoft Tendering Process?

Dean Barrow

According to Barrow, not only does the awarding of the contract fly in the face of the Finance and Audit Reform Act, but the Contractor General, who ought to have reviewed the agreement prior to execution, was reportedly unaware of the tendering process.  Barrow says that by sidestepping the Contractor General, the Ministry of Finance avoided scrutiny on whether the contract is in fact in the national interest.

 

Dean Barrow, Attorney-at-law

“The Finance and Audit Reform Act says that government is looking to enter into a procurement contract which is what this was.  You can go under one of three sections: the section that allows you to invite bids by way of the limited tender procedure; secondly, the section that allows you to invite bids by way of the selective tendering procedure and thirdly, the section that allows you to invite bids by way of the open tendering procedure.  Whichever section you use, once you have gone through the bidding process, the tender process, and you decide on who is the winner, you decide on the entity that will get the contract, before you execute that contract as government, you must submit it to the Contractor General under the Finance and Audit Reform Act, who then is to look at it, determine whether in his view the contract is in the national interest.  If he so determines, if he feels yes, this is in the national interest, he issues a certificate to that effect which certificate shall be final and conclusive and he sends that to the Financial Secretary and that’s it, you’re good to go.  If he decides it is not in the national interest, he then prepares a report which he submits to both houses of parliament, both houses of the National Assembly, the House of Representatives and the Senate and the Senate and the House must then debate his report and determine whether in spite of his report the contract should still go through.  That has not been done.”


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