TWO provincial governors have urged the Papua New Guinea Government to cancel a K65 million one-year contract awarded to a pharmaceutical company to supply 100 per cent health centres and aid post kits around the country.
According to a National Executive Council application for certificate of inexpediency, the one-year contract was awarded to Borneo Pacific Pharmaceutical Limited for a fixed price of K65,271,338.94 (tax inclusive).
East Sepik Governor Allan Bird and Northern Governor Gary Juffa questioned the Government on the lack of transparent procurement of medicines for hospitals around the country.
Bird urged the Government to cancel the contract to Borneo Pacific.
“I know for a fact that in the last round of public tenders three years ago, CPL (City Pharmacy Ltd) put in a bid that was around K20m cheaper than Borneo And yet Borneo still got the contract,” Bird said.
“I am not happy with this.”
He said the East Sepik government and its provincial health authority would not rely on the company but procure medicines for themselves.
A public accounts committee inquiry source said the PAC inquiry “report (tabled in Parliament) does not hold anything against Borneo”.
Juffa urged the Government to fast track a transparent procurement submission for the Health Department.
Juffa pointed out that the Public Accounts Committee had highlighted serious flaws in the quality of drugs (provided by the company) which were yet to be rectified since the 2020 parliamentary inquiry into the procurement of medicines chaired by Sir John Pundari.
“I am gravely concerned that since the much advertised PAC inquiry and the report tabled, nothing has been done to design a more transparent procurement system and engage companies that could procure and supply quality drugs,” Juffa said.
He said the logistics of delivering drugs, medicines, consumables and other medical equipment were “atrocious”.
“This was also exposed as being substandard and indeed procurements then were shown to be under dubious circumstances. This has also not improved.”
He also claimed that the public servants “who acted negligently, incompetently and possibly corruptly, have not been taken to task”.
The National / PNG Health Watch
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