“…Because of our awareness of the Procurement Act 2004, section 5 and section 25 subsections 2&3 as quoted, we forwarded an official letter through our solicitors to the Chairman, National Commission for Privatization, requesting reasons for rejecting our bid amongst others according to the Public Procurement Act 2004, section 27 “Debriefing of Unsuccessful Bidder”…”The procuring entity shall upon the request of unsuccessful bidder, inform the bidder of the reasons for which the bid was unsuccessful” Wrote the Chief Executive Officer of Consolidated Logistics International (SL).
Considering the unfairness, partiality, deprivation and injustice suffered in the hands of the Chairman of the National Commission for Privatization, Mr. Amadu Jah has officially reported the matter to the Independent Procurement Review Panel. In a letter dated 26th July, 2012 he highlighted what he considered not only unfair, but how the Chairman of the Commission has treated his company in the bidding process for the award of an electronic Cargo Tracking Note otherwise known as a BSC Certificate ( Bordereau de Suivi des Cargaisons) contract. Additionally, the unprofessional behavior adopted during the process by Mr. Abu Bangura by returning the bid security in the sum of US$100,000 to the Guaranty Trust Bank without having any consultation with the bidder or discussion with him when that should not be his responsibility, but the bidder who secured the security bond from the Bank prompted further suspicion.
As a show of disrespect, coupled with disregard for the law, Mr. Jah in his letter to the Independent Procurement Review Panel explained that even when the Company’s solicitor wrote a letter to the Commission’s Chairman to enquire as to what led to the cancellation of the process, Mr. Abu Bangura failed to respond. According to an official of the National Commission for Privatization, this has been the fashion and manner Mr. Bangura has been running the Commission with impunity and disregard all these years, especially when the outcomes of bid valuations are not in his favour.
Relevant sections of both the National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA) and the National Commission for Privatizations (NCP) have been quoted in the letter of Complaint to the Independent Procurement Review Panel.
It would be recalled that both Mr. Abu Bangura and the Chairman of the Technical and Evaluation Committee, Alhaji Musa King have been on a serious disagreement since the outcome of the evaluation of the bids became known. Mr. Bangura who is suspected to be in support of a Belgian Company known as Associated Transport and Port Management System felt disappointed that the Technical and Evaluation Committee headed by Alhaji Musa King did not work in his interest, whilst Alhaji Musa King in a series of correspondence to him explained to him that Associated Transport and Port Management System(ATPMS) was not responsive to the criteria set out in the terms of reference of the contract.
According to an inside source at the National Commission for Privatization (NCP), the Belgian Company is believed to have been introduced to the Chairman by Ms Aminata Kallay, his unofficial business partner for considerable period of time now who is using the South African Embassy as a front in her dealings. The owners of ATPMS, sources alleged have reportedly come up with lofty promises and gestures to the partners if the contract is awarded to them, but the outcome of the valuation turned out to be a disappointment, which has now put Mr. Abu Bangura in a state of torment and predicament and since the Technical and Evaluation Committee has refused to comply, his next option was to cancel the process without giving any explanation to the other competitor, a complete violation of both the Procurement and Privatization Acts. This unprofessional and shylock behavior as demonstrated by the Chairman of the Privatization has now been challenged. Sources further explain that the Associated Transport and Port Management System(ATPMS) was interested in the contract of dredging at the Sierra Leone Ports Authority(SLPA), but when the proposal of Cargo Tracking was introduced, they were advised by the partners to go in for it, even when they have no idea of its modus operandi. The lucrativeness of it was explained, which watered their appetite and thus, became interested in the contract.
According to sources at the Standard Chartered Bank, the Security Bond in the sum of US$100,000 was secured on behalf of ATPMS by Ms. Aminata Kallay to enable the Company participates in the process, hoping that things would come out as usual handy for them.
It is not known how the Independent Procurement Review Panel would handle the matter as the position of the Technical and Evaluation Committee remains crystal clear on the matter, which had already been endorsed by its members in the persons of Messer Abdul Mansaray, Umaru Conteh, Captain Bloomer, Ibrahim Wurie and Chairman Alhaji M.Musa King stating that the most responsive to the process for the award of the Cargo Tracking Contract is Consolidated Logistics International. Report, however states that some members of the Board of Directors at the National Commission for Privatization are divided on the matter, stating that the process was flawed, while others are saying that the decision of the Technical and Evaluation Committee must be respected as the entity charged with the responsibility to carry out the process which they have done transparently and with oneness.
The operation of a Cargo Tracking Note will not cost the Sierra Leone Government a dime; instead, it would be another avenue for revenue generation. This was made known in the proposal document of Consolidated Logistics International and has made a commitment to offer the Government of Sierra Leone 60% of revenue generated, while the Company remains with 40% for salaries and maintenance of staff and equipment. The Associated Transport and Port Management system (ATPMS) has offered the Government of Sierra Leone 52% and remains with 48%. Meanwhile, the National Public Procurement Authority (NPPA) has rejected suggestion for a re-bidding of the contract