Awake Investigates has uncovered potential procurement irregularities at the Dambai College of Education, in the Volta Region, in which a supplier, Madam Dzifa Justa who quoted GH¢20,000 less than the contract price for the supply of Palm Oil (Dzomi) was passed over for a competitor with a higher quote for the same product.
According to our investigations, Madam Dzifa who has been supplying the product to the College since 2007 had a misunderstanding with the
Sources revealed that Madam Dzifa protested against that “deal” where was made to supply less the contract quantity yet paid for the total contract sum for which the difference in the shortage supplied sum is diverted to some invisible elements in the college.
Madam Dzifa not comfortable because she was recording losses from the deal and also fear of being caught, told the storekeeper she was no longer going to allow her to be used for such dubious transactions in the future.
Awake Investigates found out that at the Tender Evaluation Committee meeting on the Supply of Palm Oil, the Collage Matron- Bridgett Bedi, who is a non-voting member of the committee verbally protested against Madam Dzifa’s bid, saying she has been supplying a factory produced palm oil instead of a Hand Made Produced Palm Oil hence her bid be dismissed.
However, according to the procurement office of the college, the alleged supplied factory produced palm oil was only recorded once for which the College has not written to the supplier registering displeasure of the product or rejected the product.
Our checks from the procurement office indicated that Madam Dzifa has passed all procurement requirements and tender sample test.
Background of the story
A letter dated 2nd March, 2017 and signed by the Procurement Officer, who chaired the Tender Evaluation Committee, simply stated that her bid had been rejected without providing reasons and that another supply had been chosen:
“I write to notify you that you are unable to win the contract for the supply of Dzomi (Palm Oil). The Contract was awarded to T.F Ventures at a contract price of GH¢9.00 per bottle.”
Our checks revealed that Madam Dzifa who has been supplying Palm Oil to the College since 2007 had quoted GH¢7.00 per bottle bringing her total bidding sum to GH¢70,000.00 while the winner of the bid quoted GH¢9.00 per bottle with a total contract sum of GH¢90,000.
According to the Public Procurement Act (Act 663), it is not always the case that the bidder with the lowest price wins the tender but that there should be “Value for Money”.
This “Value for Money” provision in the law requires that a clear case is made by the awarding authority, that is the tender committee, to rationalize the what is the winner bringing on board to warrant the additional cost of GH¢20,000.00 that the loser of the bid could not offer. When Awake Investigative team enquired from the Principal of Dambai College of Education, Mr. Musah Yambah in an interview, he said that although he was not part of the tender committee, the reason given by the tender committee suggested that the supplier who lost the bid had been providing unsatisfactory services to the college in the past.
Meanwhile Awake Investigates has been reviewing the reporting systems of the college, including the college’s grievance and complaints system to determine whether any tutors and students – past and present had ever detected their food was made with fake palm oil.
As Awake investigations continue into this matter, some have suggested that the decision of the tender committee might have been overturned by Storekeeper, Mr. Emmanuel Agbley, Sebastine Sokah and other invisible hands within the college.
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