Govt cancels digital TV deal

The government yesterday announced the cancellation of the tender for the supply, delivery and commissioning of a national digital terrestrial television broadcasting systems which was floated and had Star Software Technology Co. Limited recommended as the supplier.

The recommended supplier, Star Software Technology Co, was to supply second-hand Umatic and Betacam machines; a technology termed obsolete by the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA).

The government has since unbundled the tender into four lots that would now include civil works, studio equipment, network equipment and consultant or project manager to expedite the country’s digital migration process.

Information and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary Emmanuel Mwamba announced the cancellation of the tender yesterday stating that the decision was arrived at after the ministry was advised by the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) that the tender should be cancelled.

Mwamba told journalists at a media briefing yesterday that the tender on digital migration which was floated on September 7, 2012 to supply, delivery and commission the national digital terrestrial television broadcasting system in Zambia had been cancelled following appeals by two of the successful bidders.

Mwamba said the unbundling of the tender would enable the country meet the June 2015 deadline for countries across the world to migrate from analogue to digital television broadcasting.

According to a letter by the Zambia Public Procurement Authority to the permanent t secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services dated September 13, the evaluation report for the tender had failed to state that the recommended bidder, Star Software Technology Co. Limited had offered refurbished Umatic machines.

The letter signed by ZPPA director Danies Chisenda indicated that since the solicitation document did not mention that second-hand equipment would be accepted, the recommended bidder, Star Software Technology Co. Limited should have been found non-responsive.

Chisenda said in the letter that the tender could have been easier to manage in terms of technical capabilities of bidders if it were split into lots rather than merged as one.

Mwamba has however said government was determined that the policy on digital migration was quickly approved by Cabinet to guide in the implementation of the digital migration process despite the cancellation for the tender.

“I wish to announce the cancellation of the tender which was floated on September 7, 2012 for the supply, delivery and commissioning of the National Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting System in Zambia. The cancellation is in line with the advice from the Zambia Public Procurement Authority after it reviews the procurement process for the tender. The ministry will ensure that the policy on digital migration is quickly approved by the Cabinet to guide in the implementation of the digital migration process,” Mwamba said.

Mwamba has assured the nation that the new tender procurement proceedings would be expedited by using the most efficient procurement method in line with the public procurement act to meet the tight deadline to migrate from analogue to digital television broadcasting as prescribed by the United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

And Mwamba has made changes at the Zambia Daily Mail which have seen managing director Isaac Chipampe relocated to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to take up a new portfolio in the department of press and media development.

Mwamba has also directed heads of public media houses to depoliticise newsrooms where a culture of personalised sources and assignments was growing so as to improve editorial and reporting skills for journalists.

Categorized | Home News

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