Thukten Zangpo

A contractor in Samtenling gewog in Sarpang complained to the gewog tender committee about his ineligibility to participate in the gewog tender work and medium tender work being awarded a letter of intent (LoI) to a small contractor.

It was found that two small contractors had participated in the tender who had quoted the nearest to the government estimated Nu 5.8 million (M) for the construction of a multipurpose hall at Dechenpelri Primary School.

After the contractor complained, the gewog tender committee cancelled the LoI and the committee is preparing to refloat the tender.

A contractor with Leksoo Construction, Namgay Wangchuk, said that he was informed by the gewog mangmi and tshogpa that the gewog tender committee meeting held on March 22 had decided that a contractor without having a census registration in the same gewog would not be eligible to participate in the gewog tender.

He said he suspected that there was collusion where the gewog administrator is involved.

Namgay Wangchuk wrote to the construction association of Bhutan (CAB), which was forwarded on March 29 to the Sarpang dzongkhag administration to intervene because the contractors with a construction development board certificate can participate throughout the country.

The letter also asked the dzongkhag administration to look into the tendering process. “If the estimated tender is above Nu 5M, it should be floated to medium contractors.”

It added that Namgay Wangchuk’s participation was purposefully avoided giving invalid reasons and the tender threshold was for medium contractors. He also complained to the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Samtenling Gup, Kumar Mongar, said that the committee cancelled the tender and it is to be re-floated.

He said that the budget for the work has been re-allocated below Nu 5M due to an inadequate gewog budget.

Kumar Mongar also said that a contractor without a census in the same village could participate.

However, he said the Leksoo Construction was debarred because of his previous records—for the Samtenthang meeting hall that was constructed three years ago.

Kumar Mongar added that Singh Bahadur Tamang, who was awarded the LoI, had a good record for completion of the construction of an IT lab at Samtenling Primary School.

A contractor, Singh Bahadur Tamang, said that the tender committee later cancelled the work order stating that the gewog tender committee had made a mistake since the work is for the medium contractor.

Executive director of the CAB, Tshering Younten, said if the gewog tender committee issued the LoI for 5.8M, it means the gewog has a budget.

Samtenling gewog engineer, Tenzin Pelzang, said that as per the simplified procurement rules and regulations (SPRR), one can directly award the work up to Nu 15M.

He said that gewog is preparing to re-float the tender to medium contractor. A minimum of two contractors should be called for the tender as per SPRR, Tenzing Pelzang said.