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Midagri would continue with the purchase of urea despite observations

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The Comptroller General of the Republic (CGR) found a series of alleged irregularities in the third call to select an international supplier of urea that launched the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation (Midagri)via Rural Agricultureand which gave the American company Ready Oil Supply LLC as the winner.

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Nevertheless, sources close to Midagri told this newspaper that the award to the North American company would continue due to the fact that the current process is governed by the uses and customs of international trade, and that it was not considered in the report of the State comptroller body. This was also supported in a statement issued by Agro Rural, in which it was also noted that this standard —being of higher rank— “prevails over the directive and technical specifications of the process.” He specified that the standard in question is the Incoterm DDP.

In this regard, Amalia Moreno, consultant in national and international contracting, explained that this modality allows making “a purchase with integral conditions”; that is, in a single transfer to the place designated by the buyer.

What was found by the Comptroller

According to the Comptroller’s document, the North American firm failed to submit its financial statements for the last three years, as was required “with an eliminatory nature” of the process. It only presented those corresponding to fiscal year 2021 and argued that it did not have the information for the previous two years because in this period it ceased its activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, The Comptroller detected that this omission was due to the fact that the company was only incorporated on February 4, 2021 in Florida, USA.

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The Comptroller’s Office also included in its document similar observations about Direcagro-Grupo 06 SA, a company that ranked second in the contest.

Possibilities after observations

Eduardo Zegarra, an investigator for Grade, indicated that in the event that Ready Oil Supply LLC is disqualified as recommended by the Comptroller’s Office, it would be up to the new supplier to be chosen from among the companies that reached the final phase of the contest. This to avoid launching a new call.

The companies that came in second and third place were Direcagro-Grupo 06 SA and Unionsped SRL, respectively.

And in the event that a new process has to be called, He pointed out that this should “change the mechanism and make a government-to-government agreement.”

For his part, the former Minister of Agriculture Milton Von Hesse maintains that depending on the seriousness of the observations, there is a possibility that the contest “will go back to zero.”

For a possible new call, the specialist suggests that Midagri resort to the reverse auction modality through PeruCompras”. He pointed out that “the fact that only international suppliers can compete should also be corrected.”

For her part, Amalia Moreno, indicated that the Comptroller’s observations are due “more to a matter of form than substance.” And she considers that there are different interpretations by Agro Rural and the CGR on the purpose of the accreditation of the financial statements: seniority and economic solvency.

Farmers’ responses

Eduardo Contreras, general manager of Conajup, affirms that the observations to the current process would further delay the delivery of fertilizers. “If it takes another month, it would arrive approximately for the fortnight of November,” he estimated, adding that the urea would be used for the next agricultural campaign.

If a new bidding process arises, they will require the modification of DU No. 013-2022.

The Comptroller’s Office also observed irregularities in the deadlines

The Comptroller indicated that, in the request for financial statements, the Midagri team did not act uniformly with all bidders.

He also questioned that the bidders condition the deadline for delivery of the urea upon receipt of the letter of credit, even though it had been established that this only occurs the next business day after notification of the purchase order.

The agency also found that the winning company presented a delivery term of 60 days, despite the fact that the technical specifications establish a term of up to 45 and 60 calendar days for the first and second batch, respectively.

Source: Larepublica

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