Ghana has guidelines to prevent discrimination in the bidding process for the oil sector
– Left Guyana open for abuse in the absence of similar protection
By Kiana Wilburg
Kaieteur News – In terms of evaluating proposals put forward for the oil sector, it is arguable that Ghana has gone beyond that to ensure that its local businesses are not treated unfairly or discriminated against. In this regard, Ghana has a set of guidelines in place for oil companies to use when evaluating accepted proposals for the supply of goods and services.
These guidelines ensure that local businesses are given the first choice and are not excluded because they have no experience.
Following an examination of that African country’s legislative and regulatory framework for the oil sector, this newspaper found that the Ghana Petroleum Commission is the body responsible for establishing the application evaluation guidelines in accordance with laws and regulations qualified for ensuring that the sequencing year after year. that local content is met.
Further to its powers to set the said guidelines, Ghana has made it clear that oil companies are not allowed to disqualify any local business on the basis that they are not the lowest bidder. Its regulations state that “where the total bid value of a qualifying Ghanaian indigenous company does not exceed the lowest offer of more than 10 per cent, the contract shall be awarded to that native Ghanaian company.”
In addition, Ghana has made it clear that the bid with the highest level of local content will be selected during the evaluation of proposals. Furthermore, where a non-native Ghanaian company is interested in providing goods and services to a contractor, subcontractor, licensee, or other related entity in the oil sector, that foreign company must “jointly provide the goods and services with a native Ghanaian company, where practicable. ”
The above protective measures are also strongly supported in Ghana’s Local Content Policy.
It should be noted that the extent to which Ghana goes out of its way to ensure that local companies are not unfairly treated or disadvantaged by oil companies and their procurement rules is skewed often very different from that found in Guyana.
Here, oil companies have to set the procurement rules that local suppliers have to play with. In fact, local companies can be turned down for any number of reasons they deem appropriate.
Last weekend for example, Kaieteur News reported on the capture of a local manufacturing company by contractor ExxonMobil after it introduced an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as vests, hats and gloves.
Despite joining WW Grainger, an internationally recognized supplier of PPE, the local company was still told it was not eligible to apply. The Guyanese company, which was hopeful of gaining a foothold in the oil industry, was dismissed on the grounds that it had no experience of supplying PPE to the industry.
In an email viewed by Kaieteur News, SBM Offshore said, “Dear (withheld on request for anonymity) Thank you for your email. We had to run our technical pre-selection among a significant number of suppliers and based on the feedback provided by your company, your company has not been approved for bidding for this tender. The immediate justification I received from the team was the lack of previous experience (s) in supplying PPE in the Oil and Gas industry and in Guyana. ”
Speaking to Kaieteur News, the medium-sized manufacturer said it was quite shocking that after partnering with WW Grainger, Inc., an American industrial Fortune 500 supplier founded in 1927, he thought he would have been able to pre-qualify. The local company said it was flabbergasted to learn it could not tender for the contract because it had no experience. “How do you expect the little guy to benefit from the sector when he can be excluded for not having experience in a sector that is new to the country? How do you expect the little guy to get experience in the first place? We are told to prepare ourselves and form partnerships and invest our money but when we do, we close out because of inexperience. This needs to be addressed, ”the local company expressed.