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Wednesday 1 April 2009 | Published in Local


27 March: EU screening done by the book says Mike Mitchell

Foreign affairs secretary Mike Mitchell is sympathetic to Makirere Poila’s concerns that the design of the Pukapuka cyclone management centre is not going to be designed and supervised by a local company.

In yesterday’s paper, Poila expressed his disappointment that an overseas company was selected over a local company Romanidesign for the design and supervision of the project.

“We undertook a transparent and detailed evaluation of the tenders received in accordance with the procedures and criteria required by the EU,” says Mitchell, who is also European Union deputy national authorising officer.

Mitchell says the evaluation was carried out by an evaluation committee appointed by a project management committee (PMC) of which Pukapuka community representative Poila is a member.

The five-member evaluation committee, which also included the other PMC Pukapukan community representative solicitor general Tingika Elikana, evaluated five technical proposals with only three proposals meeting the minimum criteria for financial evaluation.

The evaluation, says Mitchell, was carried out in accordance with the detailed EU process and guidelines and as set down in the tender dossier distributed to all prospective tenderers.

He says paramount in these evaluations was the technical expertise and qualifications of each tenderer’s nominated two key experts, one for the design component and one for the on-site supervision of the construction.

“This aspect represented 80 percent of the evaluation score and in this crucial respect the successful tenderer was significantly higher,” says Mitchell.

“The successful tenderer, Vanuatu based Kramer Group, has also appointed a Cook Islander, Chris Manu, as the in-country manager and Pukapukan resident Reverend Tere Temu (JP) as their community facilitator.”

The final selection of the design and supervise contract was a matter for the EU in Suva, he adds.

Mitchell chaired the evaluation committee as a non-voting member and Teresa Manarangi-Trott, who provides technical assistance to the ministry of foreign affairs for this EU funded project was the non-voting secretary. He noted that the members of the evaluation committee were appointed for their professional expertise and the Chamber of Commerce was not represented in any way.

Mitchell also noted that the ‘design and supervise’ contract will be followed by a call for tenders for the construction phase.

“It is expected that Cook Islands based companies will tender for what will be the substantive part of the EU funded Pukapuka project to build a cyclone management centre and Pukapukan residents can expect to comprise the bulk of the workforce for the construction phase.”

The Kramer Group also recently won the design contract for the Red Cross centre to be built on Rarotonga. - MFAI/MM