Glitch was with ISP, says TSTT | Local company
T&T Telecommunications Services (TSTT) categorically states that there has been no “technical problem” with its online bidding platform. The platform was used in the submission of tenders for the central block of the General Hospital in Port of Spain by its client, the Urban Development Corporation of T&T (UDeCOTT).
In a press release yesterday, TSTT said the company’s due diligence assessment revealed that UDeCOTT’s inability to access the bid submission for Universal Structures Ltd was caused by a disruption temporary internet connectivity with the supplier’s internet provider when the supplier was uploading their company’s bid submission.
TSTT has categorically stated that it is not the seller’s internet service provider.
Although the Express could not confirm who UDeCOTT’s internet provider was, other internet service providers in the country include Flow, Digicel, Green Dot and Amplia Communications.
TSTT further stated that its electronic bidding platform is built on the principles of transparency, fairness, accountability and security.
“Developed in accordance with international best practices, e-tender operates in full compliance with national legislation and has successfully overcome some of the ongoing challenges associated with traditional tenders,” the company said.
The majority state-owned company reiterated that the connectivity issue or “technical issue” was external to TSTT and the online bidding platform and that such attribution is unfounded.
Given recent reports and attempts to challenge the integrity of the platform and the bidding process, TSTT said it has engaged an independent external party to confirm that all documents were filed prior to closing time and that the process was transparent.
It was reported in a daily newspaper last weekend that on May 20, which was the deadline for submitting bids, two bidders and their respective prices were listed as successfully uploaded on the e-tender platform.
However, a problem reportedly arose on May 23 when successful bidders Yorke Structures and Steel Structures were told that a third company was also in the running and would make a presentation the same day.
UDeCOTT, in a press release on Monday, said that at 4:05 p.m. on May 20, the electronic tender box was opened and the online tender register showed Yorke Structures Ltd. and Steel Structures Ltd as successful bidders.
However, checks of the UDeCOTT electronic tender server logs recorded that three receipts were issued, one to each of the three bidders confirming that three tender submissions were successfully uploaded at the times following, every Friday. The e-tender server registers submissions reported by Yorke Structures Ltd at 11:47; Universal Structures Ltd at 12:16 p.m. and Steel Structures Ltd at 2:24 p.m.
He noted that the company immediately contacted the owner and manager of the e-tender software, TSTT, to explain the discrepancy.
Call on a public procurement regulator
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Joint Construction Industry Advisory Council (JCC), Fazir Khan, told the Express via email yesterday that the government must ‘stop dithering’ and make the Bureau fully operational. of the public procurement regulator.
Khan said this would mean independent oversight of the bidding process for special purpose companies spending public money.
“As things stand, the public is still waiting for the Attorney General to issue a memorandum to Cabinet for the Procurement and Disposal of Public Property Regulations to take legal effect,” he added.