US$389 million roadway contract revoked by Fernandez regime in DR, because no tender was issued

DR1 says - "El Nacional points out that the decree granted the authorization for allocating the contract without a tender being held. This would be in violation with Procurement Law 340-06."

Santo Domingo’s President Leonel Fernandez issued Decree 397-11 yesterday revoking Decree 107-11 dated 7 June that granted a US$389 million construction contract to a Dominican-Brazilian consortium without tender. Nonetheless, the Presidency says the original decree was justified because Law 340-06 establishes exceptional cases where the government can declare works to be urgent, overriding other dispositions. The second decree seeks to “satisfy certain requests made by public opinion.”

President Leonel Fernandez revoked Decree 107-11 dated 7 June in which he instructed the director of the Presidential Supervisory Office for Public Works (OISOE) to sign a contract for the construction of the Pedernales highway to Hondo Valle, near the border with Haiti, for US$389 million. The contract ordered the construction and extension of the International Highway (Carretera Internacional) at the border with Haiti.

El Nacional was the first to break the story. It reported that the decree authorized the allocation of the construction to the Consorcio Carretera Internacional represented by engineer Lorenzo Antonio Cruz Suriel for Andres & Camila Materiales y Construcciones and the Brazilian firm Constructora Andrade Gutierrez represented by engineer Rodrigo Vargas and Eduardo Antonio da Silva Roque.

The decree ordered the director of the SOIE unit to issue an advance of RD$77 million to start the works, as reported in El Nacional on 21 June.

El Nacional reports that President Fernandez allocated the works “based on Urgent Resolution LS-007-2011 dated 17 February 2011 issued by the general director of the OISOE office.”

El Nacional points out that the decree granted the authorization for allocating the contract without a tender being held. This would be in violation with Procurement Law 340-06.

The newspaper recalls that Art. 65 of Law 1486 on the representation of the state establishes that in the case of public contracting, officials who intervene in the purchase of goods and services without a tender and in violation of the law could be subject to three years in prison and a fine equivalent to the contracted value of goods and services.

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