PN MPs claim tender for radiotherapy equipment irregular, demand fresh start

Alex Borg and Adrian Delia filed a judicial protest on Tuesday asking for a new tendering process

PN MPs Alex Borg and Adrian Delia have filed court proceedings asking for a new tendering process for the procurement and installation of specialised equipment at the Radiotherapy Department of Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre (SAMOC), claiming the process carried out was irregular.

The tender, for a MR-LINAC linear accelerator and related equipment, included the design and construction of a dedicated bunker area to house the MR-LINAC.

A preliminary market consultation document was published on November 22, 2021 for the installation of the device in the fourth bunker at SAMOC, which was empty at the time. Any required structural changes or repairs to the bunker were to be the supplier’s responsibility.

Four bids were made. One was not a MR-LINAC, another offered a Canadian machine which was not CE certified, another from n ViewRay (Charles de Giorgio Ltd) whose dimensions were compatible with the bunker and a fourth bid by Technoline, which would not fit inside the available bunker and so required the construction of a fifth bunker.

The tender period ended on July 14 this year with Technoline being awarded the contract.

The plaintiffs argued that the Director General had an obligation to investigate whether the tender had been awarded fairly and legally, accusing him of failing to have done so.

Speaking at a press conference outside the courts, Delia and Borg insisted that they had no option but to resort to court action after a letter to the Director General of the Contracts Department, which they sent last month, was not replied to.

Delia and Borg are demanding an investigation into whether the tendering process was structured in such a way as to favour the winning bidder. The tender awarded is worth €25 million, over double the original estimate of €12 million, they said.

They demanded the Contracts Department take all necessary action to remedy the situation, but cancelling the existing tender proceedings and starting them afresh within five days, threatening further legal action if this did not happen.