DBN ICC security tender bid contested

2014-04-23 00:00

A DISPUTE over the eThekwini municipality’s award of a tender for security at the International Convention Centre (ICC) moved to the Pietermaritzburg high court yesterday.

The current holders of the contract to guard the ICC, Khuselani Security and Risk Management (Pty) Ltd, obtained an interim interdict postponing its appeal against the award of the tender to Isidingo Security Services.

The appeal, due to be heard on April 29, has now been temporarily halted pending the outcome of the main application, in which Khuselani is seeking a review of appeals adjudicator Mduduzi Nkomo’s decision to release Khuselani’s bid documents to the other bidders concerned, including Isidingo.

That application will be argued on June 5 in the Pietermaritzburg high court.

While Khuselani is demanding sight of Isidingo’s original bid documents to prepare for its appeal, the company maintains that its own documents supplied in the bid for the tender are irrelevant to the appeal process and wants them to remain confidential.

The award of the estimated R7,5 million contract to Isidingo sparked controversy earlier this year amid allegations that police were probing claims that the company did not pay all of its staff’s obligatory provident fund contributions.

The allegations were disputed in the media by ICC CEO Julie-May Ellingson, who said that Isidingo had provided all documents needed to prove it had complied with legal requirements.

Yesterday, Khuselani managing director Mahomed Yacoob said the company wants to challenge the scores awarded to Isidingo by the Bid Adjudication Committee.

Bidders had been given scores based on “functionality and price”.

In order for bidders to be considered on the price aspect, they had to achieve a score of 70 or more out of 100 for functionality.

He said Khuselani had scored 86 points and Isidingo 72 for “functionality”.

Isidingo’s “price” bid had been about R10 000 per month lower than Khuselani’s.

However, Yacoob said he has reason to believe Isidingo may not have complied with mandatory requirements and that the scores awarded to it by the bid committee for functionality were too high.

Without seeing the bid docu­ments, however, it was not possible to say for certain, he added.

Yacoob also revealed that during March his attorneys received an anonymous tip alleging that information that could help their appeal was unfairly kept from them, and indicating that during the bid process a member of the Bid Specifications Committee had pointed out certain defects in the specifications relating to functionality.

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