Although Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon has denied knowledge of the procurement of services for a warehouse for the Office of the President there was a retender of the said project yesterday and still no explanation of its purpose.
Bids from two companies for the provision of warehouse rental services were yesterday opened at the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB), Ministry of Finance compound.
Queens Atlantic Investment Inc (QAII) was the only company to submit a bid on September 24 for the said project when the first tender process was convened. Its bid then was $59.7m. QAII Is the parent company of New GPC. Yesterday QAII once again tendered but this time $46M less than the previous bid – $13.7M.
Also bidding on the project was Dax Contracting Services which submitted a tender pegged at $30,624,000.
Yesterday, it was also unclear why the projected had to be retendered. Stabroek News had tried to determine the purpose of the warehouse and when questioned on this recently, Dr. Luncheon said that there must be a “mix up”.
“OP warehouse? A warehouse? You talking about the government health bond… That’s what you are talking about? Man it got to be the bond. I am saying to you what we will do with warehouse? No it got to be the bond, it must be the bond,” he had said.
An explanation on the tender, date and bidder did not seem to help as Luncheon remained adamant that there had to be some mix-up maintaining he was unaware of the tender. “Me? Oh My God! I aint know about OP warehouse,” he stressed.
“An OP warehouse? I don’t even believe… the term OP warehouse, I can’t even say is a misnomer it’s just incongruous. I can never make that kind of mistake. It’s like saying a man get three foot,” he added.
Efforts yesterday to contact Dr. Luncheon for further clarification proved futile as several calls to the Office of the President’s intercom and a mobile number for Dr. Luncheon went unanswered. Stabroek News also tried contacting OP’s Press and Publicity Officer Kwame McKoy but his phones were turned off.
This publication was told by a representative of Dax Contracting Services, Marissa (only name given) , that the tender document did not indicate what would be stored in the warehouse. “The bid just says for the storage of a warehouse…just space to rent. I don’t know if it’s for laptops, the document didn’t say it just said space…,” she said.
An official at NPTAB said that the tender document would indicate what would be stored as it is a factor in companies determining if they could provide the service needed. “They have to know if it’s a warehouse to store medications, books, whatever …how else will they know how much to bid?” the NPTAB official said.
The official pointed out that it is not the first time warehouse facilities were provided to the Office of the President as a facility to store laptops for the One Laptop per Family programme was tendered when that was needed. He said that there are other government programmes such as the Hinterland Electrification Programme, where solar panels are distributed.