The Public Accounts Committee yesterday inquired into the 71 million kina contract awarded to Borneo Pharmaceuticals for the supply of medical kits.
Following public criticisms about the contract in the media, the PAC decided to inquire into this award and clarify those criticisms.
Those at the inquiry answering questions were Health Secretary Pascoe Kase and Central Supply Tenders Board Chairman, Philip Eludeme.
The awarding of a K71 million contract for procurement of 100 per cent medical kits from PNG to Borneo Pharmaceuticals Pacific has drawn much criticism from both within Papua New Guinea and abroad.
Issues raised by organizations and individuals to question the contract prompted the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to conduct the inquiry.
PAC Chairman John Hickey said that the inquiry was simply to clarify those criticisms.
Key questions raised in the inquiry included why the ISO 9001 certification requirement was removed during the bidding process, along with speculative questioning over the cost of the contract, given the fact that it was 3rd highest bidder.
Health Secretary Pascoe Kase clarified on that, saying removing of the ISO certification requirement was done before tenders were called.
Pascoe also told the inquiry that the 71 million kina bid is lower than previous contracts for the same nature.
His points received backing from the Central Supply Tenders Board, the organization that recommended the final list of bidders to the National Executive Council.
Mr. Kase, in the process of answering questions, told the inquiry that this 71 million kina is for procurement alone.
However, the distribution of these medical kits will cost another 31 million kina which is a separate contract.
The inquiry was adjourned to a later date.
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