On Tuesdayin the senate, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan spoke of two contracts awarded by NIPDEC for the supply of latex gloves. One was to Pharmaco, who got a contract to supply 50 percent of the stock, and the other was to Sun Crest International.
Ramlogan cited a letter from Pharmaco which questioned the decision to award the contract to Sun Crest at a higher cost. He said the gloves supplied by Sun Crest were of lower a grade.
In a release issued yesterday NIPDEC said the award of a contract to supply gloves was usually given to two contractors “to mitigate against any quality issues and delivery problems” which the company has experienced in the past.
NIPDEC said this has been its policy for the past 13 years.Fifty percent was awarded to the cheapest of the recongised brands–Allegience, Smith & Nephew, Ansell and Bazter, and 50 percent to any other brand that meets the specifications at the lowest price.
NIPDEC said all tenderers purchasing tender packages for non-pharmaceutical items would have received the specifications for non-sterile, power-free examination gloves “and their submission must conform to be considered”.
The “input of the end user ie medical professionals/healthcare staff” is taken into consideration in the evaluation of tenders submitted. NIPDEC explained that while the policy was to award the least expensive tenderer meeting the specifications, “the exception to this is where the requirements of the end user override price consideration to ensure that there is no disruption in the delivery of health care”.
Commenting on the price issue, NIPDEC said for 2009-2010 the cheapest of the major brands was Ansell brand supplied by Sun Crest at $27.80 per box/100, and other 50 percent was awarded to Pharmaco Industries supplying Top Glove Group (Malaysia) brand at $21.50 per box/100, “this being the cheapest glove tendered in its class”.
Although Ramlogan quoted a price of $17.50 for Pharmaco as being cheaper than Sun Crest’s $27.80, NIPDEC said at the time of submission Pharmaco’s price was $17.50 and Sun Crest $21.80. However, the suppliesr notified of a worldwide increase in latex. As a result, the contract price entered into with Sun Crest was at $27.80 and Pharmaco, $21.50. NIPDEC said, “Mr Aboud’s statement that he is supplying gloves at a price of $17.50 per box of 100 is misleading,” NIPDEC said. It has not received any negative feedback or complaints about the quality of Ansell brand gloves supplied by San Crest, or complaints about the Dermaclean XAM gloves.
In an interview yesterday founder of Sun Crest, Gareth Singh, said a meeting is being sought with Attorney General Anand Ramlogan for statements made in the Senate on Tuesday which have left a negative impression on the company. He said calls were made to the AG’s office and an email sent yesterday afternoon. “This has to be sorted out,” he said.
Singh said he was surprised and very concerned to see an article in which his company was mentioned in the Senate. Singh said he could not understand how a letter written by one party could be taken as “gospel” and a pronouncement made on the issue without investigation. Sun Crest plans to pursue legal action against Pharmaco. “The company’s reputations means the world to me,” Singh said.
In an earlier interview Managing Director of Pharmaco Stephen Aboud said in raising the issue with the latex gloves his objective was not to “go after any public sector worker. My objective is to obtain equity.” He also wanted to see a change in the procurement system in the Health Ministry.