By Andante Okanya
A row has erupted between a Forensics equipment supplier and government over a failed procurement bid to supply information technology equipment to Police.
On July 31, Computer Forensics Specialists Limited petitioned the civil division of the High Court in Kampala, claiming its bid that was the best, was trashed.
The application for judicial review, is seeking to quash the award of the contract to Summit Consulting Services.
A Judicial review is conducted by the High Court to scrutinise proceedings plus decisions taken by subordinate courts, inferior tribunals or Government bodies.
Through Walusimbi and Company Advocates, the company is demanding damages for inconvenience, and costs of the application. The application does not indicate the amount demanded.
The application is supported by the affidavit of the company’s managing director Dwight Bigala. He states that the company took part in the procurement process this year in January.
“I have been advised by my lawyers which advice I believe to be true by virtue of their legal training that the award to Summit Consulting Limited does not reflect value for money on part of the procuring body,” Bigala states.
The respondents are listed as government chief legal representative and advisor Attorney General(AG), Uganda National Police and Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority(PPDPA).
Bigala states that the procurement was to supply computer forensic kit and phone forensic kit to the Police.
He notes that the supply of these kits was to be accompanied by a cyber law and a computer forensics induction training.
Bigala asserts that according to the bidding document, the process of the evaluation of the bids and its results, were to be duly communicated to the bidders between March3 and 14.
He claims the company was not duly notified and only learnt at a much later that the bid had been awarded to Summit Consulting Limited.
Bigala notes that upon scrutiny of the best bidders evaluated notice, he observed that the Police had budgeted sh200m.
The bid price for Summit read sh308.6m, while that for the aggrieved company was $79,886(sh195.6m).
Bigala purports that Summit’s bid was significantly reduced to reflect sh193.1m, lower than Computer Forensics price.
“The third respondent(PPDA) in finding favour of a bidder who submitted a bid with a higher bid price, contravened the PPDA Act, regulations and guidelines therein and provisions of the standard bidding document,” Bigala states.
Court documents show that in a report dated July 17, 2014, PPDA informed Police that Summit’s bid was successful, and that it should proceed with the supply of the equipment.
A hearing date is yet to be scheduled.
On Monday, in a brief email response to a question posed by New Vision, the PPDA Senior Public Relations Officer Vincent Mugaba ,said the regulator was yet to receive court documents to that effect.
“As of Friday(August 1), we had not received any summons. And to the best of my knowledge, we don't have any at the time of writing today Monday,” he stated.
On Tuesday, the Solicitor General Francis Atoke, a senior official in the AG’s office, said he was not aware of such a case.
“I have consulted the director civil litigation, and he says he has not received any court documents to that effect. They have not served us yet,” Atoke said.
Forensics company, govt in procurement bid row