NEWS

Copy Me In, Says Ali As FLP’s Shah Makes Govt Tender Process Claims And Told To Present Malpractice Allegations To Police And FICAC

All tenders are lodged electronically and the portal can be verified for acceptance of late tender submissions etc. by an independent party or panel.
24 May 2022 15:18
Copy Me In, Says Ali As FLP’s Shah Makes Govt Tender Process Claims And Told To Present Malpractice Allegations To Police And FICAC
Ariff Ali, Government Tender Board chairperson

The chairperson of the Government Tender Board (GTB), Ariff Ali, has strongly refuted claims by disbarred lawyer, Haroon Ali Shah, who says that Government’s public tender process for procurement lacks transparency.

Mr Shah was part of Fiji Labour Party campaign at Qalitu Primary School, Lautoka, last Wednesday.

He claimed that selected companies were benefiting, and kickbacks or commissions were being paid into third parties or individuals.

Responding to questions sent from the Fiji Sun, Mr Ali who is also Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji, said: “As Chair of the GTB, I strongly refute any allegations from any parties.

“In addition, I welcome Mr Shah and any member of the public to please present any evidence of malpractice, fraud or corruption relating to GTB practices and decisions to the Fiji Police and FICAC while copying the same to the GTB Chair.”

 

How process is done: Ali

Additionally, Mr Ali explained how Government tender processes were done.

“The GTB members receive no remuneration for their services to the Board and have no objections to having their accounts and assets scrutinized by an independent third party.

“All Government purchases above $50,000 require GTB advice and approval and are subject to transparent tender processes in line with Procurement Regulations 2010.

“All tenders are lodged electronically and the portal can be verified for acceptance of late tender submissions etc. by an independent party or panel.

“All tenders are first evaluated by a Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) comprising representatives from respective Government Ministries and independent members from other Ministries.”

Mr Ali said minutes of each meeting were taken, verified by committee members and signed off by the Chairman.

“The minutes clearly demonstrate robust discussions and a matrix of points is allocated for each tender before any recommendations are made,” he said.

“The TEC’s recommendations and minutes are provided to the GTB for their perusal and endorsement. All minutes of GTB deliberations will demonstrate the robust discussions around the evaluations of the tenders before a final decision is made.

“As GTB Chair and member of various other agencies, I wish to highlight that I have zero tolerance for fraud and corruption at all levels.”

 

What Shah said

During last week’s campaign, Mr Shah made unverified claims saying that while people had a fair opportunity to bid for contracts, Government had made it a private deal.

“We don’t know where millions of dollars have gone and you don’t know how contracts are given to big companies,” Mr Shah said.

“There is no public tender and it has become a private matter.

“It’s who you know and all you have to do is call them and how much will they get.

“It is as straightforward as that.

“It will not be given in your account but someone with a fake account and no tax is to be paid.

“This is what we have been saying. We are not doing this to gain praise but we are just stating facts.”

 

The Government Tender Board has four independent members who are not civil servants:

  • Ariff Ali – RBF Governor (Chair)
  • Dr Anirudha Bansood – Post Fiji CEO Post Fij
  • Vilash Chand – Unit Trust of Fiji CEO
  • Joann Young – Food Agriculture Organisation representative (FAO) to Fiji

Feedback: wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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