For the first time in more than a decade, the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) has engaged with contractors and potential contractors to familiarise them with the process of tendering for drainage and irrigation projects.
This was facilitated in the form of a mini workshop, held at the Ministry of Agriculture’s main boardroom. $3.5B of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Budget has been set aside as expenditure for capital projects by the NDIA for 2017.
Approximately 30 contractors, from across the country with an interest in bidding for NDIA capital projects, gathered to be informed on the process of executing government contracts. They also had the opportunity, at the end of presentations to share some of their concerns as well as to have burning questions answered.
Corporate Secretary of the NDIA Board, Omadatt Chandan said that the workshop is timely since NDIA has increased the number of drainage and irrigation projects executed throughout the country.
Addressing the contractors Chandan said, “The primary purpose of having such a workshop is to educate our contractors and potential contractors on NDIA’s procurement system, how it operates, what you as contractors can do to improve this system and how you contractors can deal with the projects, in executing them in a more timely manner and also how you, as contractors can ensure that you provide quality works at all times,” Chandan noted.
Chief Executive Officer of the NDIA, Fredrick Flatts addressing the issue why some contractors fail to win contracts said, “it, therefore, means that we have a lot of works that are to be done from time to time. However, in looking at what happens there are some persons who are not likely to ever win any of our contracts not because there is something against them but when you look at the way they fill out their documents they just make so many mistakes.”
The hosting of this workshop means that the NDIA is working to create a diverse and enhanced public private partnership. “According to the act, the NDIA is mandated to promote and encourage the involvement of private sector in the construction, management, operation and maintenance of the drainage and irrigation and flood control systems,” Chandan added
Contractors benefitted from presentations which highlighted tender procedures of the NDIA, monitoring, and evaluation of NDIA projects and contract management. During the presentation on NDIA tendering procedures revealed that in 2016, 1130 contracts were presented but only 232 contractors were able to bid.
So far for this year, 716 contracts have already been presented but only 209 contractors were able to bid.
The authority hopes that by 2018, more contractors will be qualified to bid for the various types of NDIA capital projects. The NDIA is also hoping to establish an internal tender board within the ministry to facilitate a more efficient tendering and bidding process.
An appeal was made for there to be a larger pool of contractors bidding for projects which will encourage fair competition and a higher quality of work offered.