Accountant General Chrighton Chimombo is under fire from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament over the procurement of the new Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis) software as they accuse him of not taking advice from the committee and other stakeholders to restarts the bidding process following concerns of unprofessional conduct.
PAC chairperson Alekeni Menyani said Accounta General should be sacked because he led to the procurement of a more expensive third bidder, a Zimbabwean firm, Twenty Third Century, to provide software solutions called Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to operate Ifmis three years after 12 bidders expressed interest.
The Zimbabwean firm was awarded as the vendor to operate Ifmis, although their 2015 bid price of $13 807 561.46 is on the higher side for Malawi.
Twenty Third Century also puts its recurring costs every three years at $3 086 294.73, which the tax payer would have to cough up.
In the 2018/19 National Budget, procurement of Ifmis has been allocated K5 billion
Menyani said d Twenty Third Century is expensive and suspected corruption as there was the lost bidder charging K1.1 billion ($7 million) amongst the bidders.
He said it is “financial recklessness” to go for expensive bidder .
Menyani said the procurement process is flawed and that Accountant General “has to be fired immediately for being unprofessional and because he is taking the country back to Cashgate.”
Chimombo claims the decision on procurement had the blessings of the Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP) , stating that ODPP issued a no- objection to the winning bid.
Public relations officer for the Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP) Grace Thipa whose office has since changed to Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) onfirmed that ODPP granted a No Objection to Twenty Third Century of Zimbabwe added that her institution only checks whether the procurement process was transparent, fair and clear the same for the entity to proceed awarding the contracts.
And Chimombo said the procurement process of Ifmis software followed the outcomes of the “evaluation of submitted bids.”
The bid opening was conducted in Salima on September 11 2015 where 12 bids were opened and their respective prices were announced, which this reporter has seen.
Transnational Computer Technologies had set its bid price at $12 200 000.00 and at a recurring cost of $1 418 780.21 for five years.
Another firm, Free Balance, had set its offer at S$13 995 935.00.
Other bidders include KPMG whose total bid price was $47 858 154.00; TBL whose bidding price $6 573 326.04; Neurotech whose bidding price was $8 883 110.53; State Informatics Sparc Systems Novabase whose bidding price was $28 241 975.00.
Others were Tech Mahindra Limited, whose bidding price was $13 859 996.00; Timestamp whose bidding price was $30 141 770.00; Soft Tech Consultants Ltd, Epcor whose bidding price was $10, 316, 934; Intrasoft Int. TechNet Verve K.O. whose bidding price was $23 096 914.29; and Cleoliv Int. Smart Link Ltd whose bidding price was $14 500 000.
The validity of all the 12 bids was between January 31 2016 and August 21 2016.
Ifmis is a common information and communication technology (ICT) platform which integrates core public financial management (PFM) functions to ensure efficient management of public resources.
However, due to massive theft of public resources [Cashgate] as Ifmis was manipulated, government engaged a Business Process Review study carried out by the task force which proposed a complete replacement of the system by identifying another vendor.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :