Referring to the article published in Gazeta Shqiptare titled "Scandal at the Health sector, the purchase of hospital equipment fails. World Bank cancels the tender" and subsequent media statements, the World Bank Office in Tirana would like to clarify the following.
Procurement under World Bank financed projects is conducted by the Borrower, in accordance with relevant national laws and the Bank procurement guidelines with due consideration to economy, efficiency, fairness and transparency. The Albania Procurement Law is clear that in case of discrepancy between the two, the Bank guidelines would have the precedence.
The lowest bid under the above-mentioned tendering process for medical equipment was found to be technically not responsive. For this reason, the Bank advised to revise the bid evaluation report. After the revision, the award was recommended to a firm whose offer was USD 600 000 higher than the lowest technically responsive bid. That lowest bid, however, was disqualified for reasons unrelated to bidder's capability and resources to perform the particular contract. The evaluators’ concern was related only to local service provider. As per Bank's procurement guidelines, the appointment of a local service provider is required for contract signature, but its identification is not a requirement for bid submission and the qualification of such local provider is not material to the responsiveness of the bid or the qualification of the company for purposes of the bid evaluation and contract award.
Before its final decision, the Bank had several communications with the Borrower providing an opportunity to rectify the situation and conduct the bid evaluation in accordance with the agreed procedures. Given that the borrower didn’t follow the stated evaluation and qualification criteria in the bidding document and did not recommend award of the contract to the lowest evaluated responsive bidder, the Bank is not financing this contract.