Regarding the bidding process, control entities such as the Attorney General’s Office warned of alleged irregularities – credit Jesús Áviles/Infobae Colombia
Foreign Minister Álvaro Leyva Durán declared, on Wednesday, September 13, 2023, void the tender that sought to award the contract for the issuance of passports in the country, whose budget was more than half a billion pesos ($599,000 million). After three postponements, the process did not see the light of day.
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The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs presided over the public hearing in which the multimillion-dollar contract was to be awarded, which began at 4:14 pm. But after a few minutes, Leyva chose to close the process without choosing the supplier, despite warnings from control entities.
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Indeed, the Attorney General’s Office and the Comptroller’s Office had put a magnifying glass on this case, because an alleged property detriment and shortage of passports and visas could be recorded in the coming weeks, in the event that the winner in the tender was not declared; as in fact it happened.
In Colombia, Thomas Greg & Sons has been contracted to issue and print passports since 2006. And, in view of this new process, it is part of the Temporary Union Passports 2023, which also includes the firms Seguridad Movil de Colombia, Thales DIS Finland Oy and Thales Colombia SA
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The current contract for the issuance of passports expires on October 2, 2023.
Foreign Minister Álvaro Leyva was the one who declared void the tender for issuing passports in Colombia – credit Mauricio Dueñas Castañeda/EFE
Among Leyva’s arguments, it stands out that none of the bidders met the minimum requirements to execute the juicy contract, despite the fact that one of those who applied, the firm Thomas Greg & Sons, was the great favorite to win the tender, due to their experience in preparing these notebooks.
The interest of the official in this tender was such that he took charge of the process himself, after suspending the hearing on September 5, which was in charge of the Revolving Fund of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for which he ordered the suspension of the hearing. until Wednesday, September 13.
On another occasion, the hearing that was to be held on August 1 did not take place, because a popular action was filed alleging violation of the protection of collective rights and interests, in addition to administrative morality, to free competition and public assets.
However, the Administrative Court of Cundinamarca rejected the popular action that stopped the process, so the Attorney General’s Office spoke out and on August 22, 2023 emphasized that this process could not be suspended indefinitely.
“The control body sees no reason for the bidding process to continue to be suspended, which is why it has asked the Revolving Fund of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to move forward with the process, since this could generate setbacks in the normal development of the provision of the service.” service with the delivery of passports,” said the Public Ministry.