The National Procurement Commission on behalf of the State has awarded three contracts valued at over K2.4 million to three nationally owned companies for the construction of standard science laboratories in three different high schools today.
They include a contract of K797, 500.00 awarded to Akitou Limited for the construction of a standard science laboratory for St Marcellin High School in Wosera Gawi District in East Sepik, a contract of K879,984.60 awarded to Heduru Contractors Limited for the construction of a standard science laboratory for Wantoat High School in Markham District, Morobe Province and a contract of K789,577.44 awarded to Hymergent Limited for the construction of a standard science laboratory for Kwikila High School in Rigo District, Central Province.
NPC board chairman Mr Kenneth Thomson, LLB during the contract signing in Port Moresby today said the Government under the public procurement reforms is looking at empowering local business to create wealth for the nation and the awarding of these three contracts to nationally owned companies is a testament to this vision and direction.
“Under Section 48 of the National Procurement Act, all contracts valued up to K10 million is only restricted to national companies and citizens with capacity to undertake or provide the goods, works or services,” Mr. Thomson said.
He said the new board under his leadership since taking office have proactively ensured compliance to this provision by already rescinding and revoking previous Board Decisions awarding contracts to foreign owned companies.
“I want to place on record and make specific mention that the contract of K789, 577.44 awarded to Hymergent Limited was awarded by the previous board to a foreign owned company.
“When my board took office, we have been very strict in enforcing the National Procurement Act and we have realised that this contract was less than the K10 million but was awarded to a foreign owned company.
“This is in breach of Section 48 which states clearly about National Reservations and Restrictions where all contracts valued less than K10 million should be awarded to only local companies,” Mr Thomson said.
He said the board has rescind the earlier board’s decision and has awarded the contract to the second recommended bidder on the list submitted by the Technical and Financial Evaluation Committee (TFEC) report – Hymergent Limited.
Mr Thomason said because the Government by law is supporting and empowering local businesses, NPC is also stepping up to ensure they deliver quality goods, works and services as required of them by requesting for monthly performance report from the contractors.
“Our CEO Mr Simon Bole is very good and strict in administering the National Procurement Act and the public procurement system and local contractors will also have to be 100 per cent committed to deliver the contract as expected of you.
“One of the key component is for contractors to submit monthly performance report to NPC and the agencies responsible and as well, there will be actual site inspections to confirm on the ground what is submitted in the report,” Mr Thomson said.
He said contractors who fail to deliver faces severe consequences as there is a penalty provision under the NPA that they will have to pay a fine not exceeding K50 million and the NPC board can recommend for termination of their contract and be permanently blacklisted from participating and receiving any future government contracts.
NPC CEO Mr Simon Bole said since NPC came into operation effective on 1st April 2019, the Commission has been very strict in the procurement of public goods, works and services.
“These has seen some local contractors who have never received contracts from State before were given contracts because of the open and transparent procurement process administered by the NPC,” Mr Bole said.
One of the contractor Akitou Limited that received the contract of K797, 500.00 was owned by a woman, a female entrepreneur Ms Francien Samson.
Ms Samson who is also the managing director for Akitou Limited commended NPC and the Government for giving opportunity to local business as this is the way to create and retain wealth in the country.