Renewed Call for Fair Play in Awarding of Scrap Contract

The Universal INPEX incorporated has again call for justice and fair play in the awarding of scrap contract by the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) Procurement Unit. Universal INPEX CEO Aylmer Johnson wants UNMIL award his company the sale of scrap bid it has won sometimes ago. The Universal INPEX incorporated says it has communicated with relevant sections of UNIMIL responsible and the New York office about the situation calling for justice, but to no avail.

The Secretary General of the Liberia Scrap Association, James Mafarlon, sometimes ago alleged that the UNMIL procurement section received 50-thousand United States dollar bribe to award the contract for the sale of scrap to EDGAIL, instead the Universal IPEX incorporated, the winner of the bid for the sale of the scrap. Mr. Marfarlon said there was evidence to substantiate their claims and called on the UNMIL procurement section to give the contract to the Universal INPEX incorporated the legitimate winner of the bid to ensure transparency and accountability.

Also in a communication to, Hon. Seaward Cooper, Legal Advisor Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs on April 10 2012, the LSA secretary General indicated that the UNMIL procurement unit has brought confusion and distrust, corruption in the scrap industry. UNMIL, he said, has over and over disregarded the body (LSA), that signed an agreement/MOU with the Ministry of Lands and Mines and Energy (LME) in helping to regulate the scrap industry to avoid confusion and problems that could bring the industry to halt by investigating and bringing perpetrators to justice.

 The Liberia scrap Association communication to the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs was acknowledged by the legal advisor on April 12 2012 and forwarded to authorities of UNMIL for their response on the matter indicating that it will inform their decision. According to records in our possession, Mr. Mykola Martynov, chief investigator in New York, who recently probed the matter, averred  that there was no prove of fraud and corruption and that the case should be closed. But the Universal IPEX reacted to the ruling, contending that reports revealed that those involved are friends of the investigator and that he did not want them to lose their jobs.

Also documents in our possession show that the Universal IPEX provided necessary requirements needed to be qualified for the bid and was the winner of the process. Universal IPEX Inc., according to the records, provided copies of the business registration, licenses, financial statements, references and technical capacity as applicable, to perform the required services as requested during bids 1, 2 and 3. It is also being reported that UNMIL chief of procurement has been dismissed for failing to follow the procurement procedure, a situation which led to the controversy over the scrap contract.

However, when the issue first came up, UNMIL spokes person Yasmina Bouziane, told reporters in an apparent response that the allegation has been submitted to the office of internal oversight, IOS, in New York, indicating that the investigation has not been concluded. Madam Bouziane also termed as false and baseless claims that UNMIL has dismissed or punished a staff of the procurement section because of the allegation as reported in some quarters.

She said UNMIL will act on recommendations and findings from New York following the conclusion of the investigation, but for now the issue is an allegation. She said UNMIL abides by the rules and regulations of the United Nations, as such; it subscribes to accountability, transparency and also abide by the laws of Liberia including the public procurement and concession commission law.
Investigation continues.

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