Questions about HDM drug deal still have to be answered

Dear Editor,

I wish to respond to the article in yesterday’s Stabroek News `Lawrence, PS defend drugs contract’

It would appear that the Minister and her Permanent Secretary, are seeking to exonerate themselves and have created gaps and have caused more questions to arise. In my last letter dated the 10th day of July 2018, I asked a number of questions on the deal with HDM Labs Inc., which to date remains unanswered. This letter today seeks further clarity on my quest to unearth the truth and facts on behalf of all Guyanese.

These are some of the facts and information that are available:

1.  By letter dated the 16th June 2017, Collette Adams in her capacity as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Health, wrote to Hardat Singh, who is the President/ CEO of HDM Labs Inc., under the caption “Materials Management Unit – Ministry of Public Health, Regional Health Services, Request for Quotation Ref # MMU-08-2017 P4 Supply and Delivery of Emer-gency Pharmaceutical Supplies”. Notably, the letter further stated that all quotes should be submitted on or before Monday, the 19th day of June 2017, before 10:00 am. (This was for 13 items that were omitted from the “big pharmaceuticals purchase”).

2.  On the 19th day of June 2017, Collette Adams in her capacity as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Health, wrote to Berkley Wickham, who is the Chairman of the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB), requesting permission to sole-source pharmaceuticals, which were omitted from the big pharmaceutical tender, to be sole-scoured from HDM Labs Inc., at a price of US$1,789,886.15, which is approximately GYD $366,926,660.80. Notably, the reasons contained within the letter for sole-sourcing was as follows:

“The Ministry of Public Health had a restrictive tendering process done which was opened at the National Procurement and Tender Adminis-tration Board date the 23rd May, 2017. An evaluation report was prepared and none of the bidders were qualified to be awarded a contract.”

3.  On the 20th day of June 2017, Collette Adams in her capacity as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Health, wrote to HDM Labs Inc. notifying the company of the award for the supply and delivery of emergency pharmaceutical supplies for the above stated 13 items. Notably, attached to this letter was a Purchase Order Ref # MMU-08-2017 P4, along with a contract for the supply and delivery of emergency pharmaceutical supplies. GCC 15.1 of the said contract stated,

“The method and conditions of payment to be made to the Supplier in G $ under this Contract shall be as follows:

(i)  On Delivery: the supplier shall be paid within thirty (30) days on receipt of the Goods as outlined by the purchaser’s staggered schedule of delivery and upon submission of the documents specified in GCC Clause 12.”

Editor, in my previous letter which was mentioned above, I asked if the Minister could provide the nation with the approval letter from NPTAB that allowed for this transaction and state under which category of Section 28 of the Procurement Act of 2003, was the request granted? As I mentioned before, this question was never answered.

4.  On the 29th day of June 2017, Collette Adams in her capacity as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Health, wrote to Berkley Wickham, seeking permission for restrictive tendering (retendering) for the procurement of emergency pharmaceutical supplies ref # MMU-09-2017 P4. The six companies which were selected to participate in the restrictive tendering process for the same 13 items are:

– ANSA McAl Limited

– International Pharmaceutical Agency

– Global Healthcare Supplies Inc.

– Caribbean Medical Supplies

– Meditron Inc.

– HDM Labs Inc.

An examination of the Tender Evaluation Report for the supply and delivery of emergency pharmaceutical supplies for Regional Health Services (retender) Ref # MMU-09-2017 P4, NPTAB No. 1633/2017/43, reveals the following:

That Collette Adams, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Health, is the coordinator of the Evaluation Committee, which also comprises of Dr. Shamdeo Persaud and Jewel Sears;

The bids were opened on the 18th day of July 2017. Notably, according to the evaluation report, only HDM Labs Inc. tendered for the contract. However, there was no Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and National Insurance Scheme (NIS) Compliance Certificates submitted;

Further, the bid price in the evaluation report was USD $1,891,443.46, which is approximately GYD $387,745,909.30, an increase from the quoted sole-sourced price for the same 13 items and the same quantities;

Editor, allow me to direct some more questions to the Minister of Public Health, on my quest to unearth the truth of what transpired at the Ministry of Public Health.

How did ANSA McAl Trading Limited fail on the ground of “Experience and Technical Capacity (Evidence that demonstrates bidder has carried out similar transactions…)” for such a small contract, when they were recently awarded a GYD $605M contract for the supply of pharmaceuticals by way of sole-sourcing?

Please provide information that will bring comfort to the public that HDM Labs Inc. is a recognized and efficient supplier nationwide. Specifically, we would like to be informed about which companies/institutions, apart from the Ministry of Public Health, HDM Labs Inc. supplied pharmaceuticals to and the quantities, within the last two years? Further, please state why companies that manufacture and distribute these pharmaceuticals, locally, were not offered an opportunity to provide these services? Notably, New GPC Inc. was not invited to tender in the restrictive bidding process.

Is the contract dated the 20th day of June 2017, for the sum of US $1,789,886.15, which is approximately GYD $366,926,660.80, the same as the contract, based upon the evaluation report, for the sum of USD $1,891,443.46, which is approximately GYD $387,745,909.30?

Editor, what is also amusing to me, is the fact that International Pharmaceutical Agency, owned by a well-known AFC financier, failed on the ground of “Financial Capacity (Evidence of Liquid Assets or credit not less than 25% of the bid price)”. Further, based on reports in the media HDM Labs Inc. did not file any financial returns in Guyana as was stated in the letter from his accountants.

I await the Minister’s promised statement in the National Assembly today and wish to advise her that under active consideration at this time is a report to the Guyana Police Force, the Audit Office of Guyana and the Public Procurement Commission (PPC) for investigations.

Yours faithfully,

Bishop Juan A. Edghill,

PPP/C MP

 

 

Around the Web

Comments