Haiti - Reconstruction : Temporary Suspension of 41 contracts signed under the Government Bellerive
The Commission of Inquiry responsible for the audit of contracts signed in the emergency period [8 November 2010 to October 12, 2011] by the government Préval/Bellerive, , created at the initiative of Prime Minister, Dr. Garry Conille [before his resignation] and composed of Me Stanley Gaston, Uder Antoine, Auditeur senior and Me Paul Rachel Cadet presented last week, a preliminary report to the Government.
After the analysis of 41 contracts, transmitted by the Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation (35 untendered and 6 in restricted tenders), awarded by the former Chief of Government, Jean-Max Bellerive, totaling more than 500 million dollars, the Commission confirms in its preliminary analysis, that all procurement procedures were not followed.
Irregularities concerning 6 contracts in restricted tendering :
The 6 contracts analyzed by the Commission of Inquiry, totaling a total amount of 348,025,881.63 million dollars.
- The Haitian company Constructura Hadom SA has received a contract of 33,765,000.66 dollars for the construction of the Legislative Palace. While it was clearly stated in the contract tender, that the tenderers should have at least 5 years experience, this firm, had only 2 years of existence at the time of signing the contract on November 8, 2010. So it does not meet the criteria of experience.
- The Dominican company Constructiones y Disenos R.M.N. S.A has obtained 2 contracts totaling 135,309,218.65 dollars for urban renewal and the residential development of Bowenfiel. Created May 12, 2006, the firm has not met the experience criteria at the time of contract signing.
- Another Dominican company has benefited of 3 other contracts for a total of 178,951,296.90 dollars for the urban renewal and residential development of Fort National (downtown Port-au-Prince). The latter meets the criteria of experience but its CEO, Ramon Bautista Rosario, is the majority shareholder of the other Dominiacn company Hadom S.A. The principle of competition is implicated and the possibility of agreement between these two firms is not discarded, according to investigators. They report that the Committee of Bid Opening and of Evaluation of Bids took three (3) days for the opening of tenders. What according to them, constitutes a tear in Haitian law on public procurement which provides that the tender documents are opened in public, within 30 minutes after the receipt of tenders [Article 53 of the Act of June 10, 2009 on Public Procurement].
The Commission investigators, also note that the contracts contain many grammatical errors, incorrect and imprecise terms may affect the spirit and the letter of Tender Document. This situation requires a rewrite of the DAO, to avoid in the future any dispute between the parties to the detriment of the Haitian state.
Irregularities concerning 35 contracts signed without competitive bidding :
35 contracts by mutual agreement were signed between the former Prime Minister Jean Max Bellerive and 14 firms for a total amount of 83,542,880.85 dollars. The two largest recipients are Secosa which received 9 contracts for more than 33 million and Milford Augustine et co / J&J Construction who got 13 for about 6 million dollars. 16 contracts were signed May 12, 2011, two days before the inauguration of President Michel Martelly. Members of the Commission note that no information is available about the engineer architect Thelusma Hérode who signed on behalf of the firm J& J Construction 13 contracts with Jean Max Bellerive.
After analyzing the 41 contracts, investigators, in their preliminary report, argue that state interests are not adequately protected in particular the clauses dealing with termination of contracts and recommends the following :
- Suspend as a precautionary measure, all contracts in progress for which the total amount has not been disbursed ;
- Check the progress of work undertaken in relation to disbursements already made.
- Solicit of MPCE other document held in its archives relating to the 41 contracts reviewed, including data sheets of companies, reports of detailed evaluations on the three (3) DAO restricted ;
- Request from the Central Bank the bank statements of the Public Investment Program (PIP) for the period 1 November 2010 to October 31, 2011 ;
- Make available to the CA the reproduced copies of the Statute creating the companies that participated in tenders or who have received contracts by mutual agreement.
Ensure the implementation of Article 34-3 of the Law of 10 June 2009 on Public Procurement ;
- Solicit of MPCE the transmission to the DGI to all contracts signed during the state of emergency period from January 2010 to October 2011 ;
- Ensure the strict enforcement of the procedures for restricted tenders ;
- Revise the procedure for public procurement by mutual agreement ;
Solicit of MPCE the transmission to the Primature of other contracts awarded under the sway of the emergency law.
- Forward this report to the relevant institutions of the state (CSC/CA, DGI, UCREF, ULCC) for appropriate action.
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