October 2023 -Afghanistan

What happened?

An alert was received from a supplier who had provided an offer for the purchase of NFI (Non-food items) kits. The offer they submitted was valued at USD 15,777. The winning offer was valued at USD 14,866. In the alert, the supplier complains that they have submitted several offers for procurement in the past but have never been selected.

What we did:

During the procurement process, there was some discussion between NCA and the supplier regarding specifications and samples. These discussions were satisfactorily concluded. The supplier was then contacted by somebody, name or organisation not provided, who asked for money, presumable to win the bid. The supplier refused to pay and were later informed their offer had been rejected. The procurement documentation has been reviewed by the NCA Complaints Team, and nothing to suggest fraud or corruption was found.

The Subject of Complaint was interviewed by NCA senior staff on 15th May 2023. He said he had no knowledge of the allegation and had not asked for any payments. As stated in previous messages in this case, the procurement documentation was reviewed and nothing to suggest fraud or corruption was found. The Subject of Complaint was not in a position to influence the outcome of the award of contracts, as this was done by the procurement committee. The winning offer was at a lower price than the offer submitted by the company who made the complaint. They would therefore not have been selected, so there was no reason for them to pay a bribe.

There is no evidence to suggest the SOC asked for a bribe and even if a bribe had been paid, there would have been nothing to gain for the company as they still would not have won the award.

What we learnt:

No wrongdoing was found, and we did not learn anything new as such. The importance of keeping orderly procurement documentation files for each procurement cannot be emphasized strongly enough.