TRANSPARENCY International PNG (TIPNG) has welcomed the announcement by the Central Supply and Tenders Board chairman, Dr Ken Ngangan, that the medical supplies contract will be subject to the results of a public tender.
“It is not easy for the public service to follow procedures established to protect the interests of the people and the rights of qualified suppliers to compete fairly to provide goods and services," said Mr Stephens.
Since 2013, TIPNG - through its Community Coalition Against Corruption - consistently asked for an investigation into the award of the contract to Borneo Pacific Pharmaceuticals after tendering rules were changed and the company was awarded a contract which cost the people of PNG nearly K100 million.
“A reasonable explanation was never given and this money could have been better used,” Mr Stephens said.
“It is good to see the chairman of the Central Supply and Tenders Board reject yet another attempt by that company to be given preferential treatment and to oblige it to compete fairly.
“Poor decisions in contract awards deprive our people of their rights and undermine the efforts of legitimate companies to comply with the laws.
“Good procurement should meet public needs, secure value for money for the people and be fair to the bidders,” he said.
“TIPNG continues to insist that contracts should be awarded fairly and welcomes efforts by the CSTB to insist on fair play.
“The ultimate goal of public procurement is to satisfy public interest. A good procurement process is one that obtains goods, works or services in the correct quantity, of the appropriate quality, at the required time, from the best supplier, with the optimum terms and under appropriate contractual obligations.”
Mr Stephens said strong signals need to be given and he welcomed Dr Ngangan's signal that the “rights of the people be placed ahead of the demands of companies and their co-conspirators in decision-making positions to push PNG down paths it should be avoiding.”