South Africa, Pretoria – Mpumalanga company Carewell Emergency Ambulance is questioning the award of the tender to Metropolitan Health Corporate.
The tender, worth R173 million a year over the next three years is to provide the police with, among others, wellness screening, assistance with temporary incapacity leave, ill-health retirements as well as other medical assessments.
Cedric Mashala, the director of Carewell Emergency Ambulance, said in court papers that his company was only told their bid was dismissed after the tender was awarded to Metropolitan.
He said his company attended the tender briefing session as required by the SAPS and by the closing date in March. Thus, he said, they did everything by the book.
There were 16 bids received. All the bidders had to be registered on the central supplier database at National Treasury and submit pricing schedules.
Mashala said in August that his company received confirmation from the SAPS supply management chain that their bid had been evaluated and found to be compliant with the requirements.
He was told that the SAPS was going to perform a “due diligence” meeting in the next few days, where his company was invited to give a presentation before a panel.
After all, this was done, Mashaba said he kept a lookout to see who the tender would be awarded to.
At the end of October, he saw that the tender had been awarded to Metropolitan Health Corporate.
He wrote letters to the SAPS, asking why his company’s bid was unsuccessful.
Mashala said after numerous phone calls to head office, he was eventually told his company’s bid was invalidated because the SAPS was not convinced by its performance at the due diligence meeting that it could meet the requirements of the tender.
Thus, the company’s tender bid was not further considered beyond that point.
Mashala said he was given this information verbally by a SAPS officer, but no one was prepared to confirm this in writing.
He said that up to now, no one had formally told him that his company did not get the tender or what the reasons for turning down the tender were. Mashala said his company was thus not given any opportunity to make representations regarding the decision, although it was directly affected by it.
He said the SAPS decision to award the tender to Metropolitan should come under the spotlight and be rejected for being unlawful and irregular as the process was not transparent.
It is also claimed that amendments were made to the tender documentation, which Mashala said was irregular.
He also said that additional requirements out of the blue were added to the due diligence report, which did not form the initial tender requirements. These included a 24-hour standing operating procedure to meet the needs of the SAPS.
Mashala said that while they had these procedures in place, they were not warned that it would be a requirement.
Had they known, they would have come up with a 24-hour standing operating procedure that would have suited the needs of the SAPS.
The court ordered the SAPS to hand over all documents to the applicant on which it had based its decision to grant the tender to Metropolitan.