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RTSA IN US$25M TENDER SCANDAL
By writer On 29 Oct, 2012 At 08:57 PM | Categorized As Business | With 0 Comments
The New Vision has unearthed a US$ 25 million (K125 billion) scam involving the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) tender for the Transport Information System project.
The company at the heart of the scam called On Track Innovations (OTI), lamentably failed to obtain the highest overall evaluation score during the evaluation processes and another company received the winning evaluated points.
The New Vision has also established that in the National ID Project under the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), a maneuver to corruptly award the contract to OTI was only blocked when a company that had initially won the tender raised alarm and began demanding explanations.
This tender is set to cost the tax payer US$10 million which is equivalent to K50 billion upon conversion. In the meantime evaluation reports were sent to the UNDP headquarters in New York and the tender quickly re-tracked.
Our reliable contacts at RTSA have also indicate that OTI’s representatives, comprised of a few foreigners and local companies, have also been influencing the tender for implementation and commissioning of the information system for RTSA came in as second runner-up.
But to the utter disgust of most if not all observers, the central tender committee decided to allow due diligence to take place on the winner and the runner-up which procurement experts describe as unprecedented as this eliminates the importance of the score given by the technical and financial evaluation.
Questions are being asked of how due diligence can be conducted a company that never made the grade and it has now come to the attention of this newspaper that a team which not even part of the evaluation committee left the country on October, 14 2012 for Tanzania to meet OTI representatives.
Information gathered from government investigative wings reveals that OTI has been finding ways of influencing the decisions of the technical committee.
A picture in the possession of the New Vision shows RTSA Director of IT and Deputy CEO Cytone Kibela meeting an OTI representative Jonathan Ben Zeev at Levy Junction shopping complex in Lusaka with an unknown document in his hands weeks before the Tanzanian trip. Kibela led the team that travelled to Tanzania to conduct due diligence on OTI despite not being eligible for the tender.
A background check on Ben Zeev reveals that the Israeli has business links to an Israeli company called NLPI who were the investors in RSZ whose concession was revoked by government last month. OTI are represented in Zambia by TechNet, Probase, Savenda and is represented by KBF Partners of Lusaka.
The OTI representative has in the recent past been a common feature in the corridors of RSTA claiming to have been sent by powers above.
The National ID project is a very sensitive security project aimed at installing and commissioning the national data base for registration and Identity cards. It is also the basis for birth and death certification and voters cards.
After checking the company’s annual reports as well as online financial sources such as Yahoo!
Finance, it appears that OTI has been losing money for the past twenty two years. The company’s workforce has been decreasing over the years with shareholders in constant battles to oust the poor performing management as all indicators point to a company on the verge of collapse.