The recent leakage of a K25 billion (about $83 million) medical tender at the Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) has sent shivers among some pharmaceuticals who fear that some members who sit on the trustâ€™s technical committee could also leak information to their respective companies.
Some pharmaceutical companies confided in Weekend Nation that there is conflict of interest for some members of the technical committee of the trust who also work for pharmaceutical companies that participate in tenders.
â€œIs that not conflict of interest? Can they not divulge information to their companies so that they win tenders? I know of some who have leaked such information before,â€ said one director of a pharmaceutical company.
But CMST chief executive officer Feston Kaupa defended the members, saying CMST does not have evidence of any incident where the directors have ever leaked tender information to their companies.
â€œFurthermore, to ensure their independent status, all directors of CMST are subject to the statutory duties and prohibitions regarding conflict of interest. CMST relies on the integrity of the board of directors to identify and disclose any issues which may give rise to a conflict of interest as espoused in the Board Charter of the CMST. In any situations which would pose a threat to conflict of interest, the directors have always made such declarations,â€ said Kaupa.
He added: â€œAs a matter of fact, the pharmaceutical companies represented by the technical committee members mentioned have never been awarded any CMST tender to raise any suspicion about dubious dealings; hence, there is no basis for suspecting any leakage of tender documents.â€