The Ministry of Health required the replacement of X-Ray machines for all the hospitals in Mauritius, because the existing ones have exhausted their life time and huge sums of money were being spent for repairs and maintenance. The Ministry also took this decision because complaints were received from patients since they had to wait for long to have X-rays.
Funds would be released by the Ministry of Finance but was not confirmed because the Ministry of Finance was waiting for some financial adjustments in order to release funds.
However, the Ministry of Health decided to proceed with the project though the Ministry of Finance had not confirmed the availability of funds. The Ministry of Health advertised the procurement opportunity and prepared the bidding documents which were sold to the bidders.
The bidding documents provided that the procurement award would be made following the evaluation of bids, as soon as funds will be released in favour of the Ministry of Health.
In the bidding documents, the Ministry of Health reserved the right to ask for a bid security any time during the evaluation process and made the award to the bidder submitting the cheapest bid with x-ray machines which could do the job according to the judgement of the Evaluation Committee and according to the criteria decided by the evaluators at the time of evaluation.
Five bids were received which were submitted to the Bid Evaluation Committee for evaluation and recommendation. The BEC recommended the bid from Top X-Ray Co. Ltd a company set up six months ago and it was the cheapest. The Ministry of Health awarded the contract to Top X-Ray Co. Ltd.
Two bidders challenged the decision because they claimed that they were in business for X-Ray machines for 20 years and they were in a better position to carry out the repairs and maintenance; that is the after sales service.
problem1. Identify the problems in the case study for the purchase of X-Ray Machines.
problem2. Assess whether the conditions in the bidding documents are in line with good procurement practice.
problem3. The procedure for evaluation established in the bidding documents was adequate and correct. Discuss.
problem4. Did the bidders have merit in their challenge?