Revisit road project’s bidding process, DPWH urged
I refer to the news item, titled “SMC firm DQd from road project” (Second Front Page, 6/13/14).
I think Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson was wrongly advised in disqualifying the bidder that submitted a bid security that was valid for 176 days only, instead of 180 days as required in the bidding document.
But first, let it be clarified that under the ICB (international competitive bidding) rules and procedures, the bidding document or request for proposal issued by the Department of Public Works and Highways to the four qualified bidders (including San Miguel Corp. or SMC) governs the rights and obligations of the DPWH and the bidders during the entire procurement processes up to the awarding and signing of contract. Thus, the resolution of procurement issues and decision reached thereat have to be based on the issued bidding documents.
The news report mentioned four prequalified groups in the bidding process. This means that the DPWH had conducted a prequalification (PQ) process, and determined the four groups (including SMC) qualified by the DPWH’s prequalification procedures. Subsequently, bidding documents were issued to these qualified groups for the Calax project.
At that stage, with (1) bidders already qualified by the DPWH, (2) bidding documents already issued to the qualified bidders, and (3) technical proposals already opened (as reported in the news), the DPWH could no longer disqualify the bidders. Disqualifying qualified bidders at such stage upends the process and is not consistent with the
In my opinion, a bid validity that is four days short of the validity period stipulated in the bidding document is not an issue here, because (1) the issuing bank of the bid security had clarified, and correction on the number of days to conform with the number of days stipulated in the bidding document had already been made, (2) SMC had clarified the arithmetical oversight in conjunction with the issuing bank, and (3) the bid security’s validity period does not affect the responsiveness of the bids to the bidding document. When a bidder has submitted a bid that is accompanied by an acceptable bid security, the bid should not be rejected by the DPWH as nonresponsive.
The DPWH should revisit the procurement processes and procedures stipulated in the bidding documents, particularly the evaluation and examination of the responsiveness of bids to the bidding documents, including the qualifications, financial capacity and ability of bidders to deliver or complete the works in timely fashion. And the winning bidder should implement the project in accordance with the acceptable specifications and standards and best international practice, and at such cost that should not affect the project’s economic and financial viability.
—LEONARDO M. RODAJE,
procurement expert advisor,
Southeast Asia Department,
Asian Development Bank
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