(Business in Cameroon) - Last May 3, Minister Delegate at the Presidency of the Republic in charge of Public Contracts (MINMAP) Ibrahim Talba Malla (photo) issued a note reminding various actors about the litigation or dispute resolution process to be followed in the public contracts sector.
In his note, the official explains that in the framework of the procurement system reform, an appeals’ reviewing commission (CER) was created by the decree of June 20, 2018, on the Public Procurement Code. According to the Minister, the said commission is that habilitated to resolve disputes in the public procurement sector.
“The organization and operation of this new body are outlined in decree No. 413/A/PR/Minmap of December 8, 2020. (...) The Minister Delegate reminds actors of the public procurement system that the above-mentioned Commission is housed within the Public Contracts Regulatory Agency (ARMP). Also, under the provisions of Articles 172 to 176 of the above-mentioned Code, bidders and candidates who feel they have been wronged are invited to address their appeals to the Chairman of this Commission,” the note reads.
Ibrahim Talba Malla adds that according to the provisions of articles 178 and 179 of the Public Contracts Code, he is the recourse for persisting divergences between contract committees and the contracting authorities. He, therefore, invites the actors concerned to directly notify him when there is persistent disagreement or when they have other requests concerning the execution of public contracts.
This note from the public contrast authority appears like a warning to contracting authorities that have sometimes taken unilateral dispute resolution decisions, without even considering the MINMAP’s prescriptions. The latest notable cases are the Ntui-Mankim (96.7 km) and Bogo-Pouss (63.17 km) road contracts whose awarding process is underway.
In this case, the project owner disagreed with the various commissions on the bidders to be selected. Although the MINMAP ordered the bids to be reviewed again, the project owner directly notified the project backer (the AfDB) that the tenders were unfruitful. In April 2021, however, the bid reviewing option indicated by the MINMAP became the obvious choice after various discussions.