As of March 31st, 2021, the current contracts for the island-wide solid waste collection program will be coming to an end.
In accordance with article 47 of the National Accountability Ordinance “Comptabiliteit Landsverordening”, the procurement of services was publicly tendered on February 2nd, 2021, for the services of collection and transportation of solid waste to continue throughout the various districts. The Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure, (Ministry of VROMI) has prepared new multi-annual contracts to cover these services. The new contracts will commence on April 1st, 2021, and will last for five (5) years, ending on March 31st, 2026.
Contrary to the past, improvements were made, where stringent rules were introduced for the tender process. For example, business licenses of the prospective contractors needed to reflect the scope of works tendered, which in this case includes solid waste management/garbage collection and/or other relevant waste cleaning/removal services.
Considerations from the previous years have been taken into account and where necessary, reflected into the new scope of works, so that the Government can achieve a cleaner Sint Maarten.
To better manage the execution of the works, and to attain a more efficient work performance in the districts, the original eight (8) parcels have been reorganized into seven (7) parcels.
The Terms of Reference (ToR), along with the minutes of the meeting and addendum, form the basis of what contractors used to formulate their bidding package, which was legally vetted.
In an effort to allow companies to qualify for participation in the tender, a bank guarantee was not requested as a prerequisite from the list of required documents. It was decided that after the signing and awarding of contracts, companies would be given thirty (30) days to submit a performance guarantee by a registered bank.
As stated in the terms of reference and in the information meeting, non-compliance with the required documentation would result in the disqualification of the relevant participating companies. Businesses must adhere to the rules and regulations of any Government tender, as this involves public funds and should always be handled to a high standard.
The entire bidding process was set in stone before the acceptance of any bid packages and no alterations were made after the bids were submitted. This ensured that all matters were handled reliably and with integrity.
On February 2nd, 2021, bids were received from prospective contractors. During the tender session, the packages were opened in the presence of the prospective contractors and relevant staff of the Ministry, and prices of submitted bids were read aloud in light of transparency.
The evaluation of this tender consisted of two (2) parts, namely, the technical evaluation of the received bids and the pricing evaluation. The technical evaluation of the bids consisted of assessing the completeness of tender documents, experience, and key personnel, detailed scheduling of waste collection, and their preliminary work plan.
The pricing evaluation was based on an internal cost with a compliancy range which was predetermined before receiving the bids from contractors. The compliancy range consisted of a minimum and maximum pricing to avoid companies from underbidding as was done in the past, which could lead to inefficiency in the execution of services.
Once the evaluation process was completed, the Department of Infrastructure compiled the information and based thereon, presented the advice to the Minister of VROMI for approval. Based on the compliancy of tender bids and accumulation of points, five (5) companies were awarded contracts for the collection of solid waste for seven (7) parcels. The awarding advice for the Collection of Solid Waste 2021-2026 was approved by the Council of Ministers and the Governor with very little to no remarks due to proper procedures being followed.
Minister Egbert Doran, signed the contracts on March 11th, 2021, which as previously mentioned, will commence on April 1st, 2021. The Ministry has made their high expectations known to the contractors in holding up their side of the agreement and the contractors ensured that they are committed to keeping Sint Maarten clean.
Now that the tender has been officially finalized, communications will be going out from the Ministry of VROMI to all the participants, thanking them for their participation and formally informing them of the outcome.
The Minister stated that it is a priority to hire two additional contract managers to assist with the workload in ensuring that companies adhere to the agreed-upon obligations.
Congratulations are extended to the companies that were successful in winning the tender. The Minister would like to encourage companies to make it a best practice to actively update their documentation and place emphasis on ensuring that they are in line with requirements for future participation in tenders.
Lastly, the Minister stated once again, that he has high exceptions from these companies and looks forward to a cleaner Sint Maarten.