Ministry of Labor, Liberia Immigration Service Provides Clarity on the Residence & Work Permits Bid; Says It’s Operating in line with PPCC Laws

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MONROVIA – The Ministry of Labor and the Liberia Immigration Service has responded to FrontPageAfrica report on the bidding process for the supply of digitalized Residence and Work Permits in which sources familiar with the development informed this paper of an alleged attempt by the Labor Ministry to favor one company in the bidding process.

According to the Labor Ministry, it has followed all the Public Procurement Concession laws regarding the bid which is still ongoing.

In a joint statement, the two agencies of government stated that over the years, revenues were lost by the continuous use of manual system in processing of Work and Resident Permits, therefore, they decided to digitalize work and resident permits with the objective of increasing revenue, mitigating fraud, providing employment for qualified Liberians and opportunity for high-tech capacity building.

“Following series of discussions by the Public Procurement and Concessions Commission (PPCC), the MOL and LIS, the PPCC recommended that a restricted bidding process be embarked upon to identify competent high-tech companies in consonance with the PPCC Act of 2010.”

FrontPageAfrica gathered that the though the Minister of Labor was advised by the Public Procurement Concession Commission, he insisted on giving out the bid forms for US$3,000 and interested companies must have a bank balance of not less than US$15 million or its equivalent in any valid foreign currency.

“You may obtain copy of the bidding document from the Project Officer/Procurement Section of the Ministry of Labor for a fee of US$3,000 (Three Thousand USD) beginning December 2, 2020 from the Ministry of Labor, Ministerial Complex, Congo Town…,” the invitation to bid states.

The invitation to bid also states that “All Bids must include two proposals (Technical Proposal and Financial Proposal) and must be accompanied by a Bid Security in form of Manager’s check/Bank Guarantee of US$160,000 from a reputable bank”.

Though the invitation to bid also requests proof of three years of similar services rendered, FrontPageAfrica gathered that the Minister of Labor is favoring Contec Global from Dubai which has not been able to demonstrate its experience in meeting international standards in delivering the required service.

This, according to sources at the Liberia Immigration Service and within the Labor Ministry, could pose national security threat to the country as the company has not demonstrated any proof of being capable of handling such sensitive national security documents and data.

But the Labor Ministry and Immigration Service noted that the invitation to bid was extended to six high-tech companies two of which were local businesses. All the six companies acknowledged receipt of the invitation to bid, but only two companies responded by submitting their respective Technical and Financial Proposals.

These two tenders submitted bids. The evaluation committee set up by the Joint MOL and LIS Procurement Committee is currently evaluating the bids.

The joint statement added that “This process is strictly confidential. Upon conclusion, those companies that submitted bids will be informed of their status. The law requires that the PPCC be similarly informed of the findings and all documents sent to it. The PPCC is to scrutinize the documents to ensure that the selection was in full compliance with the PPCC laws. After which a letter of no objection will be served on the Joint MOL and LIS Procurement Committee. Only contingent upon which can an Award or Awards be made and the contract(s) signed with the successful bidder.”  

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