DTA president McHenry Venaani yesterday expressed concern over the advertisement of a tender for the construction of a Government Office Park
Venaani complained about the closing date for the submission of tender documents, which according to him was a mere nine days after the advertisement appeared in local media.
“We are of the opinion that a time frame of nine days is completely inadequate for the preparation and submission of tender documents for a project of such magnitude,” he said.
“In fact, it is our belief that the only way in which one could submit complete and accurate documents in response to such a tender advertisement is if one had access to crucial information regarding the proposed project long before the publication of the call for the submission of tenders,” he added.
Venaani therefore believes the advertisement of the tender was nothing but window-dressing.
“It has become an open secret that the allocation of large-scale public procurement and public infrastructure development projects is the prerogative of high ranking public servants,” he stressed.
According to him, the tender advertisement for the public infrastructure development project states as a requirement that bids should come from companies which have in the past executed projects to the value of N$200 million.
“In the opinion of the DTA, this severely limits the number of Namibian companies eligible to tender for this project, as the advertisement restricts eligibility to 100 percent wholly Namibian-owned companies,” he stated.
Venaani suggested the establishment of a joint venture with a wholly Namibian-owned company, which in itself is not a feasible option for the majority of Namibians as it is often only the politically well-connected who are able to establish such joint ventures with foreign firms with the required experience.
Furthermore, the DTA believes the need for government office space, as alluded to in the abovementioned article, is an outcome of a bloated and over-sized public service.
He said instead of planning to build or rent office space for public servants who are failing to deliver and thereby simply not meeting the needs of Namibian citizens, government should instead look to downsize and professionalise the public service, and in the process divert already scarce resources to areas where these are sorely needed, for instance the servicing of urban land and delivery of housing.
Venaani called for the urgent intervention of President Hage Geingob to immediately cancel the tender for the construction of a Government Office Park, and to prioritise state spending according to the needs of the Namibian people.
“Should the President believe the project to be of national importance, the DTA calls for a re-advertisement of the tender with the aim of ensuring a fair, transparent and competitive bidding process,” he said.
Contacted for comment yesterday, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Works and Transport, Willem Goeieman, said he could not comment on the issue as he was driving at the time the reporter had phoned him.
“I can only comment on that next week. I am driving now and I am out of town,” he said.