ATTORNEY General dismisses grounds of appeal for the cancelled digital migration tender

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ATTORNEY General Mumba Malila has dismissed the grounds of appeal lodged by Star Times Technology over the cancellation of the digital migration tender because the decision to cancel the agreement was legally conducted.
Mr Malila said the decision to cancel the digital migration tender was done in a lawful and acceptable manner because it was done in accordance with the Public Procurement Act of 2008.
This is contained in Mr Malila’s letter to Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary Emmanuel Mwamba dated October 11, 2013 and obtained by the Daily Mail in Lusaka yesterday.
On October 6, Star Times Technology appealed against Government’s decision to cancel the tender stating that as a preferred successful bidder in the initial stage, the company was suitable to carry out the digital migration project in Zambia.
“The cancellation of the tender is lawful as earlier recommended by the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA). There is no merit in all the five grounds of appeal by Star Times Technology and I therefore dismiss all the five grounds,” Mr Malila said.
He said there is nothing which binds the ministry to any party or company that participated in the cancelled tender.
Mr Malila has advised the ministry to proceed with a fresh tender and consider a procurement process that is expeditious but within the stipulated provisions of the Public Procurement Act.
He said the ministry should consider a process that should guarantee a successful migration by 2015 as set by the International Telecommunication Union.
Mr Malila said the ministry is free to employ any of the procurement methods set out in Section 3 of the Public Procurement Act of 2008 to achieve a successful digital migration.
The methods include open bidding, open selection, limited bidding, limited selection and direct bidding.
On September 21 this year, Mr Mwamba announced Government’s decision to cancel the tender for the supply, delivery and commissioning of the national digital terrestrial television broadcasting system in Zambia.
Mr Mwamba said the cancellation was in line with recommendations from ZPPA for a review and cancellation of the tender in accordance with regulations 176 of the Public Procurement Regulations of 2011 following appeals by two of the unsuccessful bidders.
ZPPA director general Davies Chisenda, in a letter dated September 13, 2013, recommended the cancellation of the tender due to non-responsiveness in accordance with regulation 24(1) of the Public Procurement regulations.
Government has since announced that it will unbundle the tender into four lots which include separate contractors for civil works, studio equipment and cameras, transmission infrastructure and a project manager or consultant to ensure that a digital migration deadline is met.

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