It is the cabinet appointed procurement committee and the technical evaluation committee that has to be responsible if there has been any fraud in awarding the tender to purchase gas from Shell Gas, Minister of Public Enterprise Development Kabir Hashim said yesterday.
Minister Hashim told a news briefing yesterday that those who are alleging that there has been a fraud involved in awarding of tenders should file complaints against the cabinet appointed procurement committee and the technical evaluation committee. “It is against the cabinet appointed procurement committee and the technical evaluation committee one should file complaints. If anyone is going to file a complaint with the Financial Crimes Division (FCID) or with any other institution in it has to be filed against these committees,” the Minister said.
“It was me who submitted a paper to the cabinet to award the tender to Shell. However I did it following the advice of appointed procurement committee and the technical evaluation committee,” he added. He said the two committees have the say in accordance with the tender procedures which is followed by the government currently.
The Minister who referred to the questions raised by the journalists on the issues raised by the Litro Gas directors on the non availability of documents to prove the technical qualifications of Shell said he will take up the issue with the board of directors. “I have the right only to carry out an investigation on how Litro acted upon the tender and therefore I shall conduct such a probe,” he said.
On the allegation that Oman Trading International Ltd has been subjected to injustice when it comes to awarding of the tender, Mr Hashim said this company has been blacklisted for supplying inferior quality gas to Litro and a there is a complaint with FCID on the matter already. Further the Minister said Oman Trading International Ltd had bid $ 65 per metric ton as transportation fees whereas Shell has quoted $ 58. He mentioned that Oman Trading International Ltd later quoted $ 47 per metric ton when the government decided to go for a spot purchase to avoid a delay. “Bidding an amount which is less than the originally quoted price by Oman Trading International Ltd was suspicious,” he said at the same time.
The gas purchase tender when into a controversy as it was alleged that the recent price hike was a result of a fraud involved in the awarding of tenders to purchase gas. (Yohan Perera)