The High Court has ordered the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) to amend its application by suing the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) and not Sparc Systems Limited.
In his ruling on civil cause number 13 of 2021, Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda of the High Court Lilongwe Registry said having held that the applicable legal regime in respect of procedure is the civil procedures rules, it is important that the proceeding should be properly entitled.
He said naming Mitra Systems and Sparc Systems Limited as second and first defendants, respectively is misleading.
“The fact of the matter is that it is the Reserve Bank of Malawi that seeks to challenge the decision made by the Review Committee [of PPDA]. Both Mitra Systems and Sparc Systems Limited are interested parties in that they are most likely to be affected by the review proceedings one way or the other.”
Earlier, PPDA ordered RBM to engage independent evaluators in the procurement of information and communications technology (ICT) equipment for automated transfer system and flexcube system.
The PPDA order followed an appeal by ICT firm Sparc Systems Limited on November 26 2020 on the decision by the head of the procuring entity of the central bank to award a contract to Mitra Systems.
In May 2020, RBM invited bids for the supply and delivery of ICT hardware for flexcube upgrade and ICT hardware for automated transfer system.
On November 16 2020, it published an intention to award contracts on both bids to Mitra Systems.
Sparc Systems Limited appealed the decision by RBM and asked the central bank to furnish it with an evaluation report of the bid evaluators, minutes of the meetings of the RBM’s internal procurement and disposal committee and all correspondence with the PPDA relating to the procurement, including the letter of no objection.
RBM rejected the request for access to the entire record of procurement proceeding and provided grounds as to why its bid was unsuccessful in line with the Act.
This compelled Sparc Systems to start administrative review of the proceedings before PPDA challenging RBM’s decision to award procurement contracts to Mitra Systems.
In its earlier determination, the PPDA Review Committee said RBM errored to award the contract to a company that had two years’ experience when the bidding document specifically required a period of five years.