By Staff Reporter
“As the minister responsible for the implementation of the Diamond Act, I do have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that public funds are utilised prudently.
I therefore need you to assure me that the media reports I have referred to are inaccurate and that the CPBN has taken the necessary steps to ensure value for money,” pleaded a letter wrote by concerned Minister Tom Alweendo to Patrick Swartz, Chairperson of the Central Procurement Board of Namibia, referring to the Board’s awarding a tender to valuate diamonds, to the relatively unknown company, Gem Diamonds Namibia.
The Patriot is in possession of the letter, typed on a Ministry of Mines and Energy letterhead, where the minister expresses his dismay and questions the validity of the award.
“Since the CPBN awarded the contract to Gem Diamond Namibia (PTY) Ltd there has been several media reports to the effect that Gem Diamonds will cost the Government an extra amount of between N$60 – N$80 million during the contract period,” the minister writes.
According to the final evaluation of the tender process, Gem Diamonds emerged with a 100 percent score with its N$303,8 million bid being higher than that of Prestige Diamonds, which came out second with a 97,5 percent score and a lower bid of N$232 million.
Ondjerera Diamond Valuators with a N$184,5 million bid and a 89,5 percent score, Kings Diamond Valuators with the highest bid of N$450 million, Welwitchia Diamond Evaluators with a N$152 million bid, and Medcor Diamonds with a N$128,6 million bid all failed to be awarded the lucrative tender.
Global Diamond Valuators Namibia who had been valuating diamonds on behalf of Government since 2007, emerged sixth in the awarding process despite its extensive experience, with a N$233 million bid.
Gem Diamonds tendered N$303,8 million.
A source close to the Central Procurement Board revealed that the new diamond valuation company is owned by staff members of NDTC and that in this case “requirements were not about experience but rather about people having skin in the game. We didn’t ask for a value as values are not comparable.”
On Friday 2 August, CPBN wanted to sign the tender with the appointed company but the series of interactions with regard to the awarding of this tender saw the signing postponed.
The website lists CPBN’s dealing with the matter in chronological order as:
Bid Evaluation Report for the procurement of Government Diamond Evaluation Services Ministry of Mines and Energy NCS/ONB/CPBN-02/2018.
(Result) Referred Back
Request for approval of Bid Evaluation Report for the procurement of the Government Diamond Valuators Ministry of Mines and Energy NCS/ONB/CPBN-02/2018. (Result)
Request for the reconsideration against the Notification of Selection of Award for the procurement of the Government Diamond Valuators on behalf of the Ministry of Mines and Energy from Prestige Diamonds (Pty) Ltd, Welwitschia Diamond Valuers (Pty) Ltd, Metcor Diamonds CC, Global Diamond Valuators Namibia (Pty) Ltd and Hompa Investments (Pty) Ltd
CPBN NCS/ONB/CPBN-02/2018. (Result) Declined
Says Minister Alweendo in his letter, “the valuation of diamonds is done in accordance with the Diamond Act 13 of 1999, S45(1) that says ‘subject to the provisions of subsection (2), no person shall export any unpolished diamond from Namibia unless that diamond has been submitted to the Minister for determination of its market value.’
The valuation services are paid with public funds from the Diamond Valuation Fund established under S63(1) of the same Act.”