One Laptop Per Family to be retendered shortly, distribution schedule unaffected

Thursday, June 30, 2011

After a detailed legal analysis, the new tender for Guyana's One Laptop Per Family (OLPF) project is due to be launched soon, but this time with enough time for the bidders to seek clarifications, government news agency GINA reported labor minister Manzoor Nadir as saying.

In March, bidding to supply laptops for the OLPF was launched under the International Competitive Bidding (ICB) procedures.

Giftland OfficeMax, Digital Technology and CCS were among bidders whose documents were appraised but failed to meet qualifications, resulting in a subsequent decision to retender.

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In the case of Giftland, the store was disqualified for offering Lenova instead of "Lenovo" computers. Rather than providing the manufacturer's authorization, it submitted a certificate from a third party claiming to be licensed by Lenovo as an online marketer and subcontractor.

The government contacted Lenovo's territory manager for Central America and the Caribbean, Alonzo Domingo, who after reviewing pictures of the Giftland offering confirmed they were not a Lenovo product.

This information was forwarded to a Lenovo product team for review and to a US legal team for advice if any action should be taken. But despite the controversy, Nadir said Giftland would not be excluded from the new tender process.

The new tender will not affect the distribution schedule, due to begin in October, he added.

Guyanese President Bharrat Jagdeo's project is expected to benefit 90,000 families. About 14,000 of the 44,000 applications received have already been entered into the OLPF's database, the minister said. During the first phase, 50,000 laptops will be delivered to priority groups - poor and working class.

"We have started looking at identifying the learning hubs, because we're not only giving people this hardware, but are equipping them with the knowledge to use the hardware," minister Nadir added.