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Insurance company says it is not involved in corruption in award of contract at Petrojam

Published:Thursday | June 28, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Fraser Fontaine and Kong (FFK), an insurance company that currently provides coverage for Petrojam, has denounced any suggestion of involvement in any corruption in the award of a contract at the oil refinery.

Lawyers representing the company have highlighted reports in the print and electronic media concerning the award of contract for insurance brokerage services for Petrojam Limited to FFK.

"The statement suggests that there was corruption involved in the award of the contract to FFK," Myers, Fletcher and Gordon said yesterday in a letter to the editor.

"Reports in the media have stated that another bidder's pricing was significantly less than FFK's pricing, yet the bidder was not awarded the contract. FFK has no knowledge of prices quoted by other bidders as this information is confidential," the law firm said.

"Contrary to the impression given in some news reports, it was publicly known that Petrojam was not obliged to accept the lowest or any bid and reserves the right to terminate the bidding process at any point prior to the award of contract without incurring any liability to any of the participants. This is established and was clearly outlined in summary on Petrojam's RFP, published on the website for Petrojam."

Full Statement by Fraser Fontaine & Kong

There have been recent reports in the print and electronic media concerning
the award of the contract for insurance brokerage services for  Petrojam Limited
to Fraser Fontaine & Kong (FFK).
 
The media reports seem to suggest that a tender process and extension was
handled inappropriately. FFK wishes to formally state that it acted with the
highest possible standards at all times in its dealings with Petrojam. FFK finds
these statements to be reckless and damaging to its reputation which it has
established through hard work, ethics and invaluable experience since 1972.
 
FFK has proudly represented Petrojam as its insurance broker and risk intermediary
for over 30 years.  During this period, FFK has participated in many
competitive tender processes for Petrojam's insurance program and is
confident that each successful tender was determined while taking into account
factors such as:

- merit of the coverage options;
- strength of the Insurance Markets AM Best;
- Global energy experience, of the insurer and FFK's international broking
partners; and
- FFK's knowledge and expertise in managing the Petrojam portfolio
garnered over the thirty years.

Petrojam issued a Request for Proposals ("RFP") inviting tenders in respect of
insurance services to be provided to Petrojam and its affiliates for three years.

FFK submitted its tender within the stipulated deadline of January 12, 2017,
having followed the bid instructions and requirements to meet the bid
evaluation criteria as contained in the RFP.
 
Reports in the media have stated that another bidder's pricing was significantly less
than FFK's pricing, yet the bidder was not awarded the contract.  FFK has no
knowledge of prices quoted by other bidders as this information is confidential.
 
Contrary to the impression given in some news reports, it was publicly known
that "Petrojam was not obliged to accept the lowest or any bid and reserves the
right to terminate the bidding process at any point prior to the award of contract
without incurring any liability to any of the participants." This is established
and was clearly outlined in summary on Petrojam's RFP published on the
website for Petrojam.

The news reports indicate that an investigation by the Office of the Contractor
General into the tender of the contract is pending. In these circumstances, FFK
believes it to be inappropriate for it, or any other party, to comment on the
issue of the extension until the results of such investigation are forthcoming.
 
It is not unusual however for a procuring entity to extend a contract with its
present insurance service provider since it would not be prudent for there to be
any lapse in insurance coverage when a tender process is annulled. It is also
not unusual for a procuring entity to reject any or all bids and abort the tender
process as this is a right expressly reserved by a procuring entity in the
government's handbook of public sector procurement procedures.
 
For the above reasons, the statements published are inaccurate and reckless
and FFK reserves its right to take any and all actions to protect its reputation
and interests.