Rebutting Lokman Adam, ministry says tenders are anonymised and Syed Saddiq not involved in selection

Ida Lim
Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman yesterday replied that he has no links to these three companies and was not involved in the tender process. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 26 ― The Youth and Sports Ministry has rejected Umno supreme council member Datuk Lokman Noor Adam's claims of abuse in tender awards, saying bids were anonymised to prevent bias while Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman also did not evaluate bids.

Responding to Lokman's claims from November 24, the ministry stressed that the two food supply contracts he cited were awarded through a transparent tender process according to government procurement rules.

It was referring to the tender for supply of cooked Muslim food at Kem Wawasan Negara and the tender for preparation and supply of cooked food and drinks to students at Institusi Latihan Belia dan Sukan (ILKBS), which it said was carried out through open tender via the ePerolehan (eP) system.

“Throughout the tender process, only related officers are involved and YB minister or officers in the Minister's Office were never involved in these tender matters.

“This practice is in line with the order issued by MOF through a letter dated 31 January 2019 about the ban on the involvement of Members of Administration/ representatives in Ministry/ Department/ Federal Statutory Body Procurement Board Meetings,” the ministry said in a statement yesterday, referring to the Finance Ministry's orders for a transparent procurement process.

It said the tender process through the eP system was open to all suppliers registered in their respective industry codes, with eligible companies notified of available tenders.

Bids were also evaluated transparently based on fixed criteria by appointed committees, which would then produce reports on their technical and financial evaluations of such companies to be given to the Procurement Board, the ministry said.

The tender evaluation process via the eP system is done online and carried out separately by the committees checking on companies' technical and financial capabilities, with only tender participants that cleared the technical stage eligible to be evaluated financially.

“The report on tender evaluation that is presented uses the tenderer's code and not company name. Only the tenderer that has passed all stages of evaluation would be considered for appointment.

“In open tenders, companies can participate in more than one tender and tenderers that pass all stages of evaluation for a tender is eligible for appointment. So there is no issue of a company being limited to consideration for one tender only,” it said when explaining that companies could participate and be selected for multiple tenders if qualified.

The ministry said the Procurement Board ― also composed of Finance Ministry and Public Works Department representatives ― selects the successful bids after going through the technical and financial evaluation reports by committees.

It added that all officers involved in the Procurement Board have signed integrity pact forms to declare that they have no interests or any ties to any of the companies that participated in the tender process.

Yesterday, Jelebu MP Datuk Jalaluddin Alias questioned how three companies were shortlisted from some 6,000 applicants for a catering tender project, with his Umno colleague and Paya Besar MP Mohd Shahar Abdullah also asking if Syed Saddiq has any links to these.

Syed Saddiq yesterday replied that he has no links to these three companies and was not involved in the tender process.

Syed Saddiq also said unconvinced detractors were welcome to report the matter to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the police, before saying his officer has also been instructed to file a complaint with the MACC.

He declared he was prepared to resign if he is found to have abused his powers, before calling directly negotiated contracts a hallmark of the former Barisan Nasional government.

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