A Germany-based organization, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has denied allegation of corruption in the tendering process of the road maintenance project for Galkayo-Garowe corridor, which is funded by EU and Germany, Garowe Online reports.
The maintenance project is jointly managed by GIZ and Puntland High Authority (PHA), aims to reconstruct the damaged sections of the road about 80 km between Jalam and Harfo villages.
However, local media has reported tender malpractices in the process by PHA and Puntland Tendering Committee, accused of assisting company linked to officials from both institutions to triumph over their rivals for the contract.
This prompted PHA and Tendering Committee to request from GIZ officials to address the accusation to the public, according to close sources.
In the press conference held yesterday in Garowe city, the capital city of northeastern region of Puntland, GIZ official, Christoph Schmidt, stated that there is no evidence supporting the claims of corruption in the tendering process and noted that it will re-evaluate again the process.
“No evidence of fraud or corruption has been found by the joint evaluation team of GIZ and PHA. However, GIZ take this accusation serious as it has been published by the press recently. And although no evidence for those accusation was presented, GIZ will follow up on this for the sake of transparency and accountability,” said Schmidt.
Asked for the reason to hold the press conference, he said that his organization operates in 132 countries and stressed the responsibility upon the organization to give response in regard to fraud accusation.
He later revealed that GIZ will hire experts in tender evaluation process to investigate the claims of malpractices in the tendering process.
“GIZ will contract an International Auditor to review the entire tendering process from the beginning till the end and investigate the accusation as published in the media. We will do so before we award the contract. I would like to underline that corruption and fraud in tendering processing will neither be accepted by the donors nor Puntland government or GIZ,” added Schmidt.
GO has recently published a report on corruption practices in projects implemented in Puntland region, which is managed by PHA and Tendering Committee, that manifested in bribery, bid rigging and favoritism.
In most cases companies who share clan association with Puntland leader, PHA authority and Tendering committee usually tend to win contracts over rival companies, as the recent report indicated that 3 companies out of the 4, which was selected in the short-listing stage shared clan association.
The report also has shed light on a recent survey conducted by Puntland State University (PSU) between December 2015 and April 2016, on public views in regard to corruption in Puntland, and has exposed a rampant corruption in government institutions but most prevalent in Puntland Tender Committee.