PRECISION AIR’S COMPLAINT OVER AWARD OF AIRPORT HANDLING LICENCE SUCCEEDS
Information was received from Dar es Salaam, that following a formal complaint by Precision Air Ground Handling Services and one other bidder, the Tanzania Airport Authority was instructed by the Public Procurement Authority of Tanzania to cancel the award they made and in addition pay compensation to the complainants for the cost they incurred.
A new tender is now being prepared in compliance with the PPA’s ruling, making sure that a level playing field exists for bidders and that the eventual contract award is free of corrupt practices as has been alleged in this case. Precision Air Ground Handling specifically cited TAA’s complicity in ‘tailoring’ their evaluation method to suit the company they awarded a 5 year contract for ground handling to, but got ‘caught in the act’ when details leaked and the PPA stepped in to halt this glaring irregularity.
Precision Air is Tanzania’s leading airline and has been seeking licenses to not just handle their own flights but also offer their ground handling services to other carriers flying into Tanzania.
Said a regular aviation source in Dar es Salaam overnight to this correspondent: ‘Ground handling in Tanzania has been very lucrative, especially when we had a monopoly, which is now gradually being broken up. Airlines often complained about the charges for ground handling services being too high, but with only one company for a long time they just set their tariff and it was either take it or leave it. Now others have started coming in and for Precision is was crucial to get self handling, to control the cost of handling, and then also take other clients for revenue. This is common practice everywhere. But here the tenders and contracts were always eyed with suspicion when the successful bidders lacked qualification and experience while those who did were shut out. It is good that TAA was shown its limitations and given marching orders to issue a new tender and the procurement authority will sit on this now and see it through to conclusion to avoid another bad award’.