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The Public Procurement Appeals Authority (PPAA) has ruled that the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) tender for supply, installation and commissioning of a corporate management system violated public procurement law and that the utility entity should conduct a fresh tender process, TPJ has learnt.

The ruling came at the end of proceedings of the appeal that was lodged by E.R.P. Software Technologies PLC, to challenge the actions of Tanesco in the tender process which the appellant deemed to be contrary to the public procurement law. According to the appeal proceedings seen by TPJ, the appellant argued that Tanesco erred in law by specifying in the tender document that the required solution was SAP S/4HANA, which is a registered trade name of SAP SE, thereby converting a competitive tender into a single source procurement process. 

The appellant added that the tender document wanted bid prices to exclude SAP licenses that would be “procured by Tanesco from the original equipment manufacturer” something which, he claimed, was tantamount to procuring software licenses directly from SAP, without following competitive procedures.The appellant further argued that the cited actions intended to deprive the public entity the benefit of getting the best solution which would have resulted from a fair and open competition and that therefore they contravened procurement law “which requires a tender process to be conducted in a manner that maximizes integrity, competition, accountability, economy, efficiency and value for money.”Lastly, the appellant also submitted that Tanesco erred in law when they failed to issue a decision with respect to the application for administrative review, even after 11 days of it having been lodged.

 However, Tanesco countered the arguments of the appellant saying that the tender had been floated through international competitive bidding procedures and that therefore it did not limit participation. With regards to the contention about purchasing the software license directly from the original equipment manufacturer the entity submitted that it was aiming to reduce costs by eliminating agents and that the tender for this hadn’t been floated.On the matter of administrative review, Tanesco argued that it had not refused to issue their decision review, saying they were in the process of reviewing the contents raised.In determining the grounds of the appeal, the Appeals Authority observed that in explicitly stating in the tender document that the required solution was SAP S/4HANA the tender document had specified a brand name, contrary to the procurement law. 

PPAA further observed that the tender in its self was contradictory as, one hand the title suggested it to be an open tender, while on the other hand, by providing specific trade names it turned it to a single source, thus automatically eliminating other vendors in contravention of the procurement law.  The Appeal Authority further stated that the procurement law requires accounting officers to issue their decisions with respect to the application for administrative review within seven working days but in the said tender the respondent failed to do so thus violating the procurement law.Consequently, PPAA concluded that the appeal had merits as the tender was in contravention of the law and ordered Tanesco to restart the tender process with a tender document which complies with the law.

 

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