By HELEN TARAWA
PROPER processes were not followed in the engagement of five contractors for the Duran Farm Housing Project at 8-Mile, Port Moresby, says the Office of the State Solicitor.
The office advised National Housing Corporation (NHC) acting managing director Elizabeth Bowada that the engagement of the contractors was declared null and void and unenforceable.
In a letter to Housing and Urban Development Minister Justin Tkatchenko on Dec 10, a copy of which was obtained by The National, Bowada revealed that the State Solicitor’s office had confirmed proper processes were not followed in the engagement of the contractors.
According to the State Solicitor, the procurement process was required to be complied with when engaging the contractors.
All contracts that NHC intended to enter into or on behalf of the State for the Duran Farm Project must comply with the current procurement process provided under the Public Finances Management Act 1995 and National Procurement Act 2017.
Bowada advised Tkatchenko in the letter that there was an absence of evidence stating that the requirements of procurement process and requirements were never complied with.
The contractors included:
- Shandong Yinjang Industry PNG Ltd (effective Aug 4, 2016);
- Haus man Building Solutions Ltd (effective Jan 11, 2016;
- PNG Metal Fabrication Ltd;
- Kwik Built effective July 27, 2016; and,
- Zenith Construction (contractor).
It is understood that these contractors did not adhere to NHC’s needs to tender for the Duran Farm project.
Tkatchenko wrote to the contractors informing them of the advice from the State Solicitor.
He pointed out that the State Solicitor was the legal adviser for and on behalf of the State, thus, advice had been sought in regards to the purposed engagement of various contractors for the Duran Farm.
According to the advice from the State Solicitor, any contract entered for and on behalf of the State needed to comply strictly with procurement process set by the Public Finance Management Act.
“We have noted that there is no evidence of the procurement following these strict statutory requirements, thus, no public tenders were called to initiate the process. Consequently all engagement of contractors are therefore, null and void.”
Tkatchenko said they would be calling for public tenders and urged the contractors concerned to submit their interest when the tender was formally advertised.