FURTHER to what was discussed in last week’s article on challenging procurement proceedings, this week we shall look into the processes that shall be undertaken during an application for review of procurement proceedings.
The complainant, having sent a written complaint to the procuring entity, the procuring entity is required to respond in writing, either conceding that indeed, the process was flawed together with the corrective action to be taken or by dismissing the complaint, within five days. It is important to note that silence will not negate nor deter the five-day process required for the procuring entity to respond.
Depending on the response, the complainant may, in the instance of the procuring entity conceding and taking corrective measures, if they find such corrective measures inadequate, proceed to write to the Authority within five working days of the response from the procuring entity and follow the procedures outlined below.
In the instance of the procuring entity dismissing the complainants’ complaint, the complainant may choose to leave the matter as is or choose to pursue their complaint by challenging the procurement process through writing to the Authority with their name, contact details, address and reasons why they are challenging the procurement process within five working days of lodging their initial complaint to the procuring entity.
Please note that due to the five days’ timeline from initial written complaint, the procuring entity is required to respond to the complainant within the five days otherwise the complainant may proceed to write to the authority to initiate challenge proceeding against the procuring entity’s procurement process.
At this point the complainant is now officially applying to the Authority to challenge the procurement proceedings concerned of the procuring entity, to be reviewed by a Review Panel. Such application shall be made in writing setting out the grounds for the challenge as written in the notice lodged with the procuring entity and if the procuring entity had proposed steps to rectify the breach alleged by the complainant, the reasons why the complainant is dissatisfied with them.
The Authority shall then be required within seven days of receiving the application to challenge procurement proceedings of a procuring entity. appoint a Review Panel to hear the challenge and fix a date for the hearing of the challenge.
It is also important to note that as a result of the application of procurement challenge within the five-day period, all challenged procurement proceedings shall be suspended until after the
Review Panel has heard and determined the challenge or cancels the suspension due to circumstances that go over and above the complainant’s challenge such as national interest and other scenarios to be covered in a subsequent article.