Report of the Public Procurement Commission on the procurement of emergency drugs (Part II)

Last week, we began a discussion of the report of the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) on the procurement of pharmaceuticals for the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). So far, we dealt with two of the five conclusions relating to the Minister of Public Health’s involvement in the transaction which saw ANSA McAL Trading Ltd. being awarded a contract in the sum of $605 million.

We had stated that the threshold for sole source emergency procurement is one million dollars. Upon further review of the Procurement Act and the related Regulations, it does appear that this limit is only applicable to restricted tendering and not sole source procurement. That apart, the PPC report referred to a figure of $3 million as the limit for restricted tendering, citing a Cabinet decision dated 26 January 2016 on the matter. However, to give legal effect to this decision, the Minister of Finance has to issue a Regulation under the authority vested in him by Section 61 of the Act, which Regulation has to also be gazetted. It does not appear that this was done.

Suffice it to state that the $605 million contract with ANSA McAL was not based on sole sourcing but rather restricted tendering involving four suppliers.  The other three suppliers – New GPC, Health 2000 and Chirosyn Discovery Technologies – were awarded contracts to the value of $25.8 million, representing a mere 4.1% of the total procurement. It is relevant to note that the evaluation of the tenders for 2017 annual procurement that was ….

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