Complaints Commissioner John Epp has found no irregularities in the Central Tenders Committee’s award of a contract for architectural and engineering services for the new emergency response centre in Bodden Town.
The CTC awarded the contract to Kozaily Designs Ltd. for CI$980,620. Kozaily’s bid was more than 40 per cent higher than a bid of CI$698,920 by DDL Studio Ltd., which filed a complaint on the matter with the Office of the Complaints Commissioner.
While investigating the matter, Mr. Epp found no irregularities or material errors in the manner in which the bids were evaluated.
‘The tender evaluation process was a judgment based, for the most part, on objective criteria and, to some extent, based on the experience of the committee,’ he said. ‘I am satisfied the committee executed its remit in an appropriate fashion.’
Among those Mr. Epp spoke to during his investigation was Mark Urizar, a senior projects manager with the Public Works Department, who was a member of the evaluation committee.
‘Mr. Urizar stated that while the committee was very interested in the DDL submission for the overall price, the group’s review of DDL’s submission found limited directly relevant experience with emergency response facilities,’ Mr. Epp wrote in his ruling on the matter.
Another evaluation committee member, Eric Bush, said only two of the four bidding companies had the desired experience with emergency response centres and that Kozaily had been the lowest bidder of the two.
Mr. Epp expanded on his ruling last week.
‘There is no doubt that DDL Studio is a reputable firm,’ he said. ‘However, the bid made by DDL Studio was so low it caused concern about whether the project could be completed to the desired quality at that price.’
Mr. Epp said his investigation did not involve looking at DDL’s capabilities.
‘Not at all,’ he said. ‘I was only looking at the [CTC evaluation] process.’
CTC Chairman Terrence Outar noted that cost, while very important, is not the only factor considered when the committee looks at tender submissions.