A few weeks ago there was commotion after the Central Tenders Committee (CTC) approved a big tender to supply feed pipes to a new refinery project to produce low-cost oil.
As has been reported, this happened in 2014, when a senior official at the CTC returned from abroad, pulled out the tender documents from his drawer and gave his approval almost single-handedly in favor of a specific company . The tender was worth KD 290 million.
However, the tender was rejected by the Supreme Petroleum Council at that time because it was shrouded in secrecy between the bidder on one hand and another party on the other because the said company had earlier not shown commitment in the implementation of KOC projects. The tender remained suspended for two years between the Kuwait Oil Company, the Supreme Petroleum Council, the Central Tenders Committee and the Audit Bureau.
Less than a month ago, some influential people intervened, people from the Council of Ministers and the National Assembly and put pressure to approve the tender once again in favor of the bidding company, and this was exactly what happened. Here the media, I mean the social media, some prominent parliamentarians, the public and also myself included, put pressure that this tender cannot be given to this company and as result of this the Cabinet decided to stop the tender and handed it over to the Supreme Petroleum Council and the latter stood its ground and declared null and void the approval given by the government.
It is but natural that some parties which were affected by the decision did not like the cancellation while others objected the attitude of some media which contributed to the cancellation of the tender for the second time under the pretext some parties were directly interested in the cancellation and refloating the tender.
There was a discussion about the extent of morals of opposing tenders especially by those who have some interests. Indeed, this is not in defense of any party, this issue is not annoying at all. It is perfectly legitimate when some expressed their happiness at the cancellation of the tender. We all have interest in not approving the tender in favor of that company, because of the merits and reasons given by the Supreme Petroleum Council.
The re-flotation often means the project will be implemented at a much lower cost and with more efficiency. So one may ask here, what harm will be there if the interest of one party suffers and the State, the homeland and the citizens benefit? If the interests are conflicting with one another, we shall oppose with our modest means, and call for its cancellation, too.
It (cancellation) is not bad as long as the initial opposition came within the legal framework. It is important to mention former MP Ahmad Al-Qudhaibi and the current parliamentarian Rakan Al-Nisf for the disclosures and relentless efforts made by them that led to the cancellation of the tender.
By Ahmad Al-Sarraf