Jun 1 , 2019

Three of the four companies that failed to cut the technical evaluation stage of a tender to supply 21,761tn of reinforcement bar valued at nearly 305 million Br filed grievances with Addis Abeba's procurement agency.

Abyssinia Integrated Steel, Tokuma Fite Steel Importer and Steely RMI filed their complaints with the Addis Abeba Public Procurement & Property Disposal Agency, aggrieved for being excluded from the bidding process.

The Agency is procuring eight types of rebar with thicknesses that range between six millimetres and 32mm. The rebar will be used for the construction of middle-income houses and other projects that will be undertaken by the City Roads and Water & Sewerage authorities.

Two local companies, Mohammed Hassan Adem Import & Export and C&E Brothers Steel Factory made it into the financial evaluation stage after being technically qualified.

The technical documents of the bidders were opened in April, and the result was announced two weeks ago.

Habesha Steel, one of the companies that failed to pass the technical evaluation stage, did not submit grievances to the Agency.

The companies were given five days to file complaints, according to Zeray Tadesse, strategic and procurement team leader at the Agency.

If the companies are not satisfied with the response, they can take their complaints to the city's Finance Bureau and the courts.

Executives of Steely RMI claim that their company was excluded from the bid for putting access to foreign currency as a precondition in the bidding document.

“As far as the tender is an international competitive bid," said Getnet Endazenew, marketing manager at Steely RMI, "we believe we are entitled to get the foreign currency as our foreign counterparts do.”

The Agency requested that Steely RMI remove the forex precondition to be included in the technical evaluation, but the company refused, according to Getnet.

Tokuma Fite Steel was also disqualified from the bid, since the Agency refused to consider the test results the company had brought from a Turkish company.

“It is the second time the Agency disqualified us for the same reason," Tokuma, founder and general manager of the company, said.

Complaints over the bidding processes are common, according to Habtamu Berhanu (PhD), a lecturer at Addis Abeba University’s College of Business & Economics for more than a decade.

Preparing a very clear term of reference is a solution to minimise complaints, according to Habtamu.

“The bid document should be prepared in a way that does not open space for complaints,” suggested Habtamu.

While demand for rebar is increasing year after year, supply has not kept pace with demand. About 190 registered companies manufacture iron and steel products with an annual production capacity of 5.9 million tonnes of steel. However, the country spends over 1.3 billion dollars to procure 6.6 million tonnes of billets annually to meet demand.

"The date for financial opening will be determined by the time we take to review the complaints," said Zeray.

PUBLISHED ON Jun 01,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 996]

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