Company Petitions Parliament Over Office Space Bid

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In short
Tycoon Sudhir Ruparellias Meera Investments was evaluated as the best bidder for the procurement requirements, which include the building being in close proximity to parliament. Its rent quotation was 4.5 billion Shillings for Queen Chambers at Parliament Avenue.

Yampe Limited, one of the companies which bid for provision of office space to Parliament has raised a red flag over the process.

The company listed among the three unsuccessful bidders, has written to the Clerk to Parliament, Jane Kibirige, questioning Parliament's decision to award the two-year contract to Meera Investments Limited, owned by city tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia.

Yampe Limited owns a newly constructed building on Portal Avenue, opposite Christ the King Church. The company's bid was rejected on grounds that its rent quotation, about 9 billion shillings, was costly.

Rumee Investments Limited, which owns a building on Lumumba Avenue, did not meet the requirement of being located within a 400 meter radius of Parliament while Twed Property Development Limited did not submit a bid security among the requirements.

Meera Investments was evaluated as the best bidder for the procurement requirements, which include the building being in close proximity to parliament. Its rent quotation was 4.5 billion Shillings for Queen Chambers at Parliament Avenue.

However, Mathias Nsubuga, one of the directors of Yampe, in his letter dated October 14, states that the evaluation process was flawed and seemed to favour Meera investments against their bidders.

"Meera was given an upper hand in this process, including during evaluation when the Ministry of Works had to intervene to allow them to continue with the process," Nsubuga told URN.

During the evaluation process, a team from Parliament led by Sargent-at-arms, Ahmed Kagoye, on inspection of Queen Chambers, raised a red flag on the building, citing poor drainage system and stained toilets. However, the Ministry of Works later cleared the building for occupancy.

Nsubuga now wants Parliament to conduct an administrative review to establish whether proper procedures were followed.

"I have asked the Clerk to revisit this process to establish whether indeed Meera was picked after being given due advantage," Nsubuga explained.

Sources within the Clerk to Parliament's office were unavailable for comment. Chris Obore, Parliament's Director of Communications, says he was not aware of the letter from Yampe.

Obore however says Meera took the contract due to its relatively cheaper cost compared to the other bidders, as well as its proximity to Parliament.

According to Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) regulations, once a bid winner is displayed, the notice gives unsuccessful bidders ten working days after the display of the best evaluated bidder notice.

 

About the author

Olive Eyotaru
Olive Eyotaru is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Eyotaru has been a URN staff member since February 2015.

Eyotaru started practising journalism while still studying at Uganda Christian University. She was a reporter with Ultimate Media Consult Ltd between 2005 and 2007.

In 2009, Eyotaru joined Monitor Publications Limited, under KFM Radio as a parliamentary and business reporter. Consequently, Eyotaru started writing for the Daily Monitor newspaper until January 2015, when she moved to URN.

She is interested in reporting about politics, health, human rights, business and sports.