It is common for Bidders to queryprocurement procedure once a potential winner has been announced and the Public Procurement and Asset Disporsal Act has provided for remedial processes if the bidder feels the procedure was not done properly. A bidder can challenge procurement procedures at any stage of the procurement procedure or within the 14 day window period after a notice of award has been advertised. Some of the stages were a bidder may dispute a procurement process outcome are;
- A potential or actual bidder in procurement proceedings who claims to have suffered, or to be likely to suffer, loss or injury due to a breach of a duty imposed on a procuring entity by or under this Act, may challenge the procurement proceedings
- where the grounds of a challenge concern alleged improprieties in the invitations to bid or to pre-qualify which have become apparent before bids were opened, the challenge shall be lodged prior to bid opening.
- Where notice of the award of a contract has been issued, a challenge may be lodged only within the fourteen-day
STEPS FOR LODGING A PROCUREMENT REVIEW
- Write a letter of review– Lodge a written notice to the procuring entity siting the identified the specific act or omission alleged to constitute a breach of duty on the part of the procuring entity.If the notice is after a notice of award has been advertised you have to make sure you handover your notice of review within the first 14 days after the notice of award has been advertised.
- Deposit a Security Fee– Deposit a security fee into the account of the procuring entity as you lodge your challenge , this is a pre requisite for your challenge to be considered.The fee to be paid depends on the value of the tender that you are challenging .For a contract below $10000 usd you will pay $100 usd and the fees goes up to $250 000 for tenders above $5 000 00 0 usd
- Procuring Entity to respond– If the procuring entity agree that it breached a duty as alleged in the challenge, it shall within five days notify the bidder concerned and the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe of its concession and take whatever steps it considers necessary, or as the Authority may direct, to rectify the breach.
- PRAZ to takeover the process-Were a procuring entity has not agreed that it breached a duty as alleged in a challenge or the bidder that lodged the challenge is dissatisfied with any steps taken or to be taken to rectify the breach alleged in a challenge, the bidder may within five days after lodging the challenge apply in writing to the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) for the procurement proceedings concerned to be reviewed by a review panel.The security fee deposited into the procuring entity’s account is then transfered to PRAZ account.
If after all these processes the review committe appointed by PRAZ agrees with your challenge remedial action is taken , but if your case is thrown away the procuring entity will continue with its initial decision and you will not get back the security fee deposited.