Education Minister Shaik Baksh yesterday stood by the award of two recent contracts, valued almost $300M in total, to Digital Technology, saying they went through a competitive bidding process overlooked by the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB).
Speaking at a news conference at the studios of the National Communications Network to address a report in yesterday’s edition of the Kaieteur News, under the headline `‘Barber shop’ company gets $300M computer contract,’ Baksh said projects awarded to local companies undergo a stringent process of cross referencing before they are awarded.
He said that the two contracts, which were awarded to the company and which were referenced in the news item, were valued at $70M and $222M, respectively. Baksh said that the first contract which was awarded to Digital Technology, which is located on the East Bank of Demerara, was part of a government of Guyana/ Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) project. The second contract dealt with the supply and delivery of computers to public entities, including the University of Guyana.
According to the minister, a 10% security cost was attached to both contracts, which cost $10M and $22M, respectively. Digital Technology was the lowest bidder for both contracts.
Baksh also said that the CDB would have reviewed the bid documents and subsequently gave a no objection to the contracts being awarded.
He also noted that both contracts carry a three-year warranty, for which the 10% security cost will be held in lieu of any defaults.
He noted that the housing or location of the company was not a matter of concern to the government, but rather the ability of the contractor to fulfil the contract.
Baksh also said that the company has been awarded some 38 government contracts over the past four years and he noted that the government has been doing business with it as far back as 2002.
“We have had no complaints. They even supplied items to the University of Guyana,” he noted.