Procurement of Three Small Tugs and One Big Tug

The MPA views with concern that articles prejudicial to the Authority have recently been published in various newspapers following a public gathering in December. The statements that were made are as follows:

  1. there was no tender process for the procurement of tugs;
  2. the Mauritius Ports Authority bypassed the Central Procurement Board;
  3. the Mauritius Ports Authority chose to retain a company against the advice tendered by the State Law Office;
  4. the letter of cancellation for the procurement of tugs was issued by the Mauritius Ports Authority to bidders on the eve a Parliamentary Question had to be answered.

The MPA would like inform the public that the above statements are unfounded and in the circumstance wishes to clarify hereunder on the statements made: 

The MPA functions in accordance with the Ports Act 1998 and ensures compliance with the best practices of the Code of Corporate Governance. The Director-General of the MPA is appointed in line with the provisions of the Ports Act 1998. Amongst others, the Director-General is responsible for the execution of the policy of the Board and implementation of its regulatory and control functions.

  1. there was no tender process for the procurement of tugs

The MPA launched an open international bidding for the procurement of three small tugs and one big tug on 2 December 2017, through advertisement in the press.

  1. the Mauritius Ports Authority bypassed the Central Procurement Board

The procurement of tugs exceeding the threshold value of Rs 100 million has always been undertaken under the aegis of the Central Procurement Board. All previous purchases have been processed by the Central Procurement Board. Similarly, the MPA prepared its bidding documents in accordance with the provisions of the Public Procurement Act 2006 (PPA) and submitted same to the Central Procurement Board. However, in August 2017 the Central Procurement Board informed that the procurement of vessels has been exempted from the PPA and the exercise was no longer within its purview.

  1.  the Mauritius Ports Authority chose to retain a company against the advice tendered by the State Law Office

In no circumstance the advice of State Law Office was sought concerning the selection of bidders. The State Law Office had advised on the interpretation of bid specifications and compliance to the bid submission.

  1. the letter of cancellation for the procurement of tugs was issued by the Mauritius Ports Authority to bidders on the eve a Parliamentary Question had to be answered.

The issuance of the letter of cancellation to bidders is not linked with the Parliamentary Question as the Board of the MPA decided to cancel the tender exercise for the procurement of tugs at its meeting held in October 2018 and recommended the appointment of a consultant to assess the requirement of tugs at Port Louis in the light of future shipping trends and will prepare the bidding documents to ensure that the specifications of the tugs are appropriate for the handling of mega size container vessels and larger oil tankers expected at Port Louis in the future, following the operation of the extended Mauritius Container Terminal Berth in October 2017 and the deepening of the navigation channel which will enable larger petroleum tankers to be handled at the Oil Jetty.

Accordingly, the Director-General implemented the decision of the Board and issued the letter of cancellation to the bidders.

In the spirit of fairness, MPA wishes to enlighten our stakeholders on the accuracy of facts.

 

31 December 2018                                                                                         Mauritius Ports Authority