24 de Feb de 2020

Nacional

Higer is still in the running for bus bid

After seven months of silence, a week ago a bidding process began to supply buses to replace the aged decrepit diablos rojos. That was t...

After seven months of silence, a week ago a bidding process began to supply buses to replace the aged decrepit diablos rojos. That was the beginning of questions about the competing companies began.

Higer Bus Company Limited, the company that offered the cheapest buses was eliminated on February 3, but on the following day the Traffic and Terrestrial Transport Authority ATTT (Autoridad de Transito y Transporte Terrestre), director, Heraclio Batista said that it was still on the running and was given a 48 hours dateline to correct nine mistakes in its documentation.

Higer was accused by the insurance company, Interoceánica de Seguros of presenting a false insurance deposit document to the ATTT, but the Chinese bus manufacturer insisted that the insurance deposit document was legitimate.

A Higer’s spokesman said that he understood the alarm the accusation had caused to the ATTT and hinted that the company might sue Interoceanica de Seguros for slander.

Meanwhile, Interoceanica de Seguros said that it has not issued an insurance deposit or guarantee for Higer Bus Company Limited for the delivery of 420 urban buses.

According to Interoceanica, it notified the anomaly to the Insurance Superintendent, Ricardo García that the insurance company had not issued an insurance deposit document for Higer.

The woes for the Transmovil project did not stop there. On February 3 everything was ready to install the commission that would evaluate and review the proposals for the bidding companies, but suddenly the commissioners decided not to proceed with the ceremony, without giving an explanation.

The commission formed by two members of the Chamber of Commerce and two members of the ATTT has not been installed after three days of discussions.

Apart from Higer, there are two other companies competing for the contract, Grupo Q and Volvo CDM.

February 3 proved to be a black day for Transmovil, because the Supreme Court received two lawsuits against the bidding process. The lawsuits were presented by Eduardo Quirós and Guillermo Cochez. However, the fact that the court has received them does not mean that the bidding process will be automatically suspended.

The lawyers are alleging the bidding process was not properly advertised on the web site PanamaCompra and therefore is illegal.