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Tuesday , September 29 2020

Suspicions raised about KOC’s tender for field hospital

Offers of large firms with great experience in medical field excluded

KUWAIT CITY, July 21: Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) put forward a set of tenders during the COVID-19 pandemic for the construction of a field hospital and a quarantine center. However, there are suspicions of corruption and major violations, reports Al-Qabas daily quoting informed sources.

They explained that some of the tenders put forward by the company are subject to technical suspicions and numerous violations in terms of the company’s non-compliance with regulations and the principle of equal opportunities and free competition.

This was seen when one of the tenders was awarded to the tenth of the lowest offers, excluding those who presented the lowest bids. The price difference between the lowest bidder and the winner of the tender was significant. The company’s tender for establishing and equipping a hospital and quarantine center at the Kuwait International Fairground was divided into seven groups.

A number of different companies had submitted their offers for each group, but surprisingly, all these seven groups were awarded to one company through its various branches. Ironically, that company was not the one that submitted the lowest price offer.

The sources said, “It is surprising that the offers of large companies with reputation and great experience in the medical field were excluded even though they offered the lowest prices. KOC instead insisted on awarding the tender to one company”. They went on to say, “It was deliberate in some tenders, specifically for the procurement of medical equipment and supplies. The tenders were tailored to suit one of the contractors, and the delivery periods were set during a very short period of time that does not exceed a week. This is because this company has stock by virtue of the fact that it recently equipped hospitals affiliated to the Ministry of Health. However, why was this company not contracted directly instead of carrying out a bidding process, especially if they knew there is no company in Kuwait that has sufficient inventory to supply within days other than the company which was awarded the tender?!”

The sources also asked, “Why did the Ministry of Health task KOC to equip the field hospital; why not do it on its own? What is the link or experience of KOC in purchasing medical equipment?

Why did the company involve itself in this matter?” They concluded by saying, “KOC is in great need for its engineers and employees in light of the major challenges facing it. What is most important of them is to maintain the production rates. All of it is just for some informative reviews”.

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