10 Oct 2013

Marshalls parliament report shows state violates procurement law

4:35 pm on 10 October 2013

A report to the Marshall Islands parliament says a law governing government procurement is repeatedly violated by nearly every ministry and agency.

The Public Accounts Committee report says that most ministries and agencies that were audited failed to comply with the Procurement Code..

The chairman of the committee, Senator Kenneth Kedi, says the law, approved 25 years ago, aims for openness, fairness and transparency in the buying of goods and services.

He says the Health Care Revenue Fund violated the code by choosing vendor and goods prior to a procurement process, contracted the highest bidder rather than the lowest and artificially divided purchases to avoid the bidding requirements.

He says the Ministry of Health or the Fund Administrator purchased 12 smart phones that did not comply with the Code.

And Mr Kedi says the College of the Marshall Islands avoided bidding by awarding sole-source contracts, while the Marshall Islands Development Bank thought the code did not apply to them.