School lunch suppliers protest Inabie’s “irregular” tender

Dozens of school lunch and breakfast suppliers protested this Friday in front of the National Institute of Student Welfare (Inabie) to denounce the most recent food tender carried out by the aforementioned entity, calling it “irregular”.

According to the protesters, this tender had the “badly prepared sheets and poorly shaped batches”.

Likewise, they assured that Inabie did not take into account the transport units required in the logistics of preparing and distributing the food rations, nor the number of authorized bidders who were harmed by those decisions.

In addition, they affirmed that thousands of suppliers that met the requirements were unfairly eliminated from the process, while several of the winners of the tender did not meet them.

“In principle, the qualified kitchens were 2,000 and so many, the director (of the Inabie) insisted that was going to award 1,340 kitchens… he said that he does not care, that there are no beds for so many people, that he does not care that there are almost 900 kitchens closed and around 5,000 workers on the street,” said one of the protesters.

Similarly, the spokeswoman for those affected, Elizabeth Beriguete, affirmed that everything that happened with the tender is a violation of Law 340-a 06, alleging that, due to the slowness in hearing the challenges and complaints of irregularities, they cannot be resolved time conflicts.

He also added that it is not possible that in six of the eight provinces analyzed some 28 bidders 65 lots were awarded for a value of RD$1,608,707,385.88 without considering the installed capacity, the number of employees registered in the Social Security Treasury (TSS).

“In the provinces of Santiago, San Cristóbal, La Vega, Azua, La Altagracia, Puerto Plata, as well as in the districts of Santo Domingo Norte and Oeste, 902 bidders competed for 461 lots, 49.62% fewer lots than those awarded in 2021 and 23.18% fewer suppliers in the 2019-2021 periods, causing the elimination of 395 MSMEs and 2,370 jobs created by 2021,” he explained.

What the Inabi said

In a statement, the aforementioned entity defended the legality of this tender, indicating that in the evaluations it was included for the first time the execution of the “Public Due Diligence”.

The latter consists of filtering carried out on “external actors” to the institution involved in the contracting process to identify conflicts of interest such as collusion, politically exposed persons, bidders participating with more than one company or as a company and individual at the same time, among other cases.

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