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Cancelling a bid for the design of a five-year strategic plan and training, the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Association has awarded the contract to a company owned by a member of the Chamber’s board of directors.
The tender was announced by the Chamber on March 10, 2019, searching for companies that will design a five-year strategic plan for the Chamber and give training at three separate sites - one in the capital and the remaining in two regional states.
On March 22, the bid was opened, and five companies passed the technical evaluation stage for the strategic plan and five qualified for the strategic plan training.
Fortune Management Consultancy & Training, Golden Africa Capacity Center, Goldie Management Consultancy Service, Damu Management Consult Plc and Gebeyaw Aychile Business & Management Consultant are the companies that passed to the technical evaluation stage for design of the five-year plan.
Afro Universal Consult & General Trading Plc, Goldie Management, Girma Beyne Sahile Management Consult in partnership with Dahi Management Consultancy Service, Gebeyaw Aychile Business and Abate Zewdu Business & Management Consultant made it to the technical evaluation stage vying to provide the strategic management training for the Chamber.
The technical result of both bids, which are weighted at 70pc of the total result, was announced on April 5, 2019. Goldie Management Consultancy Service, which is founded by Aynalem Abayneh (PhD), who is a member of the board of directors, placed third with its technical result for the two bids.
The financial bid opening was held on April 8, 2019, and Goldie Management came in first place for the training bid and third place for the strategic plan design.
“After that, the Chamber remained quiet in notifying us about the winning company,” said Amare Adugna, general manager of Damu Management, which came in first place with a weighted average for the management strategic plan design bid. “We’ve been asking the Chamber to notify us of the result in person and with letters.”
On July 16, 2019, the Chamber posted a notice stating that the board of directors has cancelled both the financial and technical results of the bids. Then the companies were told to collect the cash payment orders they submitted while entering the bidding process.
Later, Goldie Management Consultancy Service, which was founded a decade ago by Aynalem and engages in research, consulting and training services, was awarded the project. Participants of the bid say that the Chamber did not notify them while awarding the company for the projects.
Aynalem confirms to Fortunethat his company was awarded for the project, but stated that he is not aware of the awarding process and decision of the board of directors.
“I wasn’t involved in any of the decision making processes,” Aynalem told Fortune, “and I know nothing about the process.”
However, a legal expert with a wide range of experience in the field says that the Chamber made a fundamental mistake in letting the company take part in the bidding process in the first place.
“It should have been excluded in the preliminary screening process to avoid conflicts of interest,” said the expert.
“This is done by a Chamber, which says that it stands for the rights of the business community,” said one of the bidders for the strategic plan training bid.
According to sources close to the case, Goldie Management has already started training members of the Chamber on strategic planning.
Endalkachew Sime, secretary-general of the Chamber of Commerce, and Melaku Ezezew, president of the Chamber, did not respond to questions from Fortune before the paper was sent to print.
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