Wheat saga continues

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The Public Procurement and Property Disposal Service (PPPDS) reversed the decision of its technical committee to disqualify Agrocorp International for the bid of 200,000 metric tons of milling wheat and awarded the company to import the wheat.
Under the procurement of 400,000 metric tons of milling wheat on four lots that has 100,000 metric tons of each Agrocorp, a Singapore company, has offered the cheapest price for the 3rd and fourth lots.
On the bid document opened during the last week of November Agrocorp has offered USD 221.47 and USD 222.97 per metric ton for third and fourth lots respectively and Gem Corp follows by USD 224.41 and USD 225.45.
However under the technical evaluation the company was disqualified saying that the company missed to add technical specification for aflatoxin/mycotoxin levels, levels of heavy metals, pesticide residue levels and microbiological load that are stated on the second amendment of the bid document.
That has been the reason for exclusion from the bid.
Following the decision of the technical committee, the company filed a claim on December 24 that the company would offer it if clarification request shall come from the Service. At the same time the company representative also raised the issue on a meeting to see its claim on Thursday January 2.
On its claim the company also stated at the bid document it mentioned that it can fully comply with the Ethiopian standard ES 665:2017.
On the complaint acceptance letter signed by Tsewaye Mulunen, Director General of PPPDS, and issued on January 3, it stated that “we have come to the conclusion that accepting the bidder request does not affect on any substantial way the scope or quality of the wheat and the company can fully comply with the Ethiopian ES 665:2017.”
It has also added that the company has awarded to supply the 200,000 metric tons of milling wheat that worth USD 44.444 million worth.
According to sources, the decision was taken by the reviewers of the complaint that include representatives from PPPDS, Ethiopian Standard Agency, Ethiopian Conformity Assessment Enterprise, Ethiopian Trading Business Corporation, National Disaster Risk Management Commission and Federal Attorney General.
Ali Yahyah, representative of Agrocorp, declined to give comment on the issue. “I have no permission from my company to give comment for media,” he told Capital.
However other experts who closely followed the case and the public procurement as a whole stated that such kind of decision should be appreciated. “It is a good start for the sector clarity and the benefit of the country,” one of the experts told Capital.
Capital’s effort to get further clarification from PPPDS was unfruitful.