The Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) has taken decisive action by suspending SMSize Solutions Limited from participating in public procurement for a period of one year. The suspension comes after it was discovered that the company had submitted falsified compliance certificates from the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) and the Workers Compensation Fund Control Board.
The investigation into SMSize Solutions Limited was initiated following a complaint from the Rural Electrification Authority (REA), which had floated a tender for the supply and delivery of high-powered solar home systems in December 2022 and January 2023. ZPPA began its inquiries in April 2023, leading to the discovery of the falsified compliance certificates submitted by SMSize Solutions Limited.
During the investigation, it was revealed that the compliance certificates from the Workers Compensation Fund Control Board and NAPSA were not genuine. In response, the supplier claimed that it had used an agent to obtain the false certificates.
The submission of false information in a contract or procurement process is a violation of section 96(b) of the Public Procurement Act No.8 of 2020. This section states that any bidder or supplier providing false information in a bid or any other document submitted to a procuring entity in connection with a procurement process or contract shall be suspended from participating in public procurement.
Consequently, ZPPA has imposed a one-year suspension on SMSize Solutions Limited, effective from 5th June, 2023. The suspension extends to any entity that may be considered a successor in interest, including those employing or associated with any partners, directors, or other officers of SMSize Solutions Limited.
It is important to note that the suspension does not affect any outstanding contracts that were entered into prior to 5th June, 2023. SMSize Solutions Limited will be allowed to fulfill its obligations under those existing contracts.
To ensure the enforcement of the suspension, ZPPA advises all procuring entities to refrain from awarding contracts, selling or issuing solicitation documents, or inviting bids from SMSize Solutions Limited. Additionally, procuring entities are instructed not to engage in any dealings or communications with the suspended supplier, except in relation to existing contracts entered into before the suspension.
The details of the suspension have been provided in Circular No. 7 of 2023, available for reference on the ZPPA website at www.zppa.org.zm.