The Chair of the Contracts and Monopolies Commission says the three companies that bidded to revamp the Liberia Telecommunications Corporation lacked the financial and technical capabilities to takeover the company.

The Contracts and Monopolies Commission (CMC) says that transitional chairman Charles Gyude Bryant's rejection of the Liberia Telecommunication Corporation (LTC) Bidding Committee's report was a recommendation advanced by them.

CMC Chairman Marie Leigh Parker, along with two members of the Commission speaking Monday on a live Radio Veritas phone-in program, "Topical Issues" said the three companies short listed lack the financial and technical capacities to takeover the LTC.

She cited one of the three companies, Universal Telephone Exchange (UTE) which she said has existed for only two years with seven employees as telephone operators.

Last Tuesday, Chairman Bryant squashed the findings of the LTC bidding committee set up to review proposals for the management of the LTC and mandated the committee to put into motion another bidding process with a set of clearly defined guidelines. The UTE was said to have won the bid.

In his reaction, the Executive Director of the UTE, James Yarclay termed transitional chairman's rejection of the bidding committee's report as "politically motivated".

He challenged the chairman to publish the report of the World Bank team and the bidding committee "in the interest of transparency and fairness." The UTE official claimed that fraud was committed in the handling of the LTC bidding committee report stressing that he had evidence to prove his statement.

The CMC was established by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (Article XVII).The CMC got the power to implement public procurement policies and procedures and monitor contracts and concession agreements as well as liberalize monopolies when Chairman Bryant signed Executive Order No. 3 recently.

Liberian Observer