Disputes and conflict of interest in consultancy services

A person has a conflict of interest in respect to procurement if the person or a relative of the person seeks or has a direct or indirect interest in another person or vendor who seeks a contract for procurement.

For clarity, a relative means:

  • A spouse, child, parent, brother or sister
  • A child, parent, brother or sister of the spouse

It is imperative that all officials involved in procurement avoid at all times any conflict or perception of a conflict of interest. Any official who has conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest with respect to a particular procurement may not take part in the
procurement proceeding.

If a person participates in procurement despite a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest and the contract is awarded to the person or relative of the person or to another person in whom one of them had a direct had a direct or indirect interest, the contract shall be voidable at the option of the procuring entity.

NB: The voiding of a contract by the procuring entity made in such circumstances does not limit any other legal remedy the procurement may have.

A person has a potential conflict of interest with a procurement procedure if the person could benefit financially due to on-going business relations with one of the vendors seeking a contract or the possibility of receiving subcontracts from one of the vendors seeking the contract should he/she win the contract. The procuring entity shall not hire the consultant or consultancy firm for an assignment in which there is possibility of conflict of interest. If a consultant has been engaged by the procuring entity to provide goods, services or works for a project, it shall be disqualified from providing consultancy services for the same project.

Similarly, a consultant shall not be hired for any assignment which by its nature may be in conflict with another assignment of the consultant. The staff working in the procuring unit of any procuring entity shall observe the code of ethics during the procurement process. All the employees shall declare any personal interest they may have in any procurement that may affect or reasonable be deemed by others to affect the impartiality in any matter relevant to their duties.

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