Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 10th 2014 Contents A14
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, October 10, 2014
Amalgamated Security Services Ltd
(ASSL) is asking the Vehicle Manage-
ment Corporation of T&T (VMCOTT)
to "reassess" its decision to award a
$2.1 million contract to SESL.
The request is contained in a letter
sent to VMCOTT CEO Ramesh Lackhan
by Amalgamated s group marketing man-
ager Robert Baur.
The tone of the letter indicated Amal-
gamated felt it was given an unfair deal
The contract was awarded to SESL for
security services at VMCOTT s Beetham
and San Fernando facilities.
Baur questioned several reasons given
by Lackhan why SESL and not the other
bidders was selected. Baur quoted from
an Express report which quoted Lackhan
as saying SESL was chosen because of
the quality of emergency response plans
presented by the bidders.
The report also quoted Lackhan as
saying Amalgamated had an insufficient
plan lacking in professionalism.
Baur told Lackhan that brought his
utmost surprise and disbelief. He asked
Lackhan to retract the statements about
He also asked Lackhan to reassess the
decision to award the contract to SESL
since, according to the Express, the emer-
gency response plan was the most impor-
Baur said VMCOTT s "invitation to
tender" document did not require the
provision of any emergency response
He said Amalgamated s proposal, sub-
mitted last December, thoroughly
addressed all VMCOTT s requirements
Baur said though not requested, Amal-
gamated also assured that in the event
of an emergency or security incident, its
officers would firstly be guided by
VMCOTT s emergency response plan.
Baur said in February 2014 VMCOTT
sent a subsequent letter to Amalgamated,
stating the scope of works for security
services had changed and bidders needed
to send an emergency response plan.
The deadline for submitting this plan
was last March. Baur said Amalgamated
sent back a letter of acknowledgement
to VMCOTT, indicating it would be open
for further dialogue on the matter.
Baur said Amalgamated did not change
the price of its bid which was $1,650,000,
He said it did not send an emergency
response plan because it is highly unusual
to send one to a company without know-
ing the details of the business.
He expressed amazement at
VMCOTT s evaluation of Amalgamated s
emergency response plan (insufficient)
since none was submitted.
Baur said Amalgamated, accustomed
to getting government contracts, from
the present and previous administrations,
would usually expend time, costs and
effort to do a plan after they had secured
"At this point in time it would have
been not only unusual but unreasonable
of you to expect a supplier to include a
customised and elaborated emergency
"This would have required not only
an extensive assessment of the client s
specific environment by the supplier but
also a substantial input from said client.
"Common industry standards dictate
that such an effort is made after a contract
is awarded," he told Lakhan in the letter
Amalgamated assured VMCOTT it has
the highest number of ASIS certified
protection professionals in any public or
private security organisation worldwide.
"We would have been more than will-
ing, and still are, to prove to you our out-
standing competency in this regard by
showing you an example of what you
Amalgamated on $2.1m VMCOTT contract:
VMCOTT CEO Ramesh Lackhan says
Amalgamated is very silent on the fact that
a contract to provide security surveillance
services worth close to $1 million was
awarded to the company a few months
"In fact, ASSL was awarded the contract
for our security surveillance," Lackhan
reminded Baur in a letter yesterday.
Questioned about it, Baur confirmed
Amalgamated did receive the contract but
insisted it was a "completely different
Lackhan also denied he told Express the
emergency response plan was "the most
He also denied he said "Amalgamated
brought an insufficient plan that was
lacking in terms of the professionalism."
Lackhan said that could be corroborated
by a T&T Guardian report on the same
matter which carried his correct response.
"I offer my apologies as the good and
reputable name of your organisation was
tarnished," he told Baur in the letter.
"Please note that our response to the
initial article was in no way intended to
slander but rather to defend VMCOTT by
refuting the allegations made by Mr
"I am saddened by the misrepresentation
of my good intents by the Express
journalist, as can be verified by the article
published by the Guardian newspaper," he
Lackhan admitted it was an oversight on
the part of VMCOTT in not requesting an
emergency response plan from the original
He said of the eight bidders, six, including
Amalgamated, responded to the request.
He said in their bid for the contract,
Amalgamated said: "Our contract
management and execution plan submitted
with our tender response already includes
an emergency response section."
Lackhan said that would have formed
the basis of the company's score in that
He further stated two other tenderers
had lower bids than Amalgamated.
The issue of the VMCOTT contract was
brought into the limelight by PNM Senator
Avinash Singh in the Senate recently.
Singh claimed SESL, chosen over
Amalgamated, a reputable security
company, was only very recently
A SESL Web site stated its beginnings
go as far back as 1983.
could expect us to deliver," it said.
Baur said, to date, VMCOTT has not
replied to them.
He showed the T&T Guardian a copy
of Amalgamated s internal crisis man-
agement and business continuity plan
done in 2012 and updated this year.
It outlines detailed plans to deal with
natural and man-made crises, including
terrorist attacks. He said VMCOTT never
informed the bidders the emergency
response plan would carry ten points in
the evaluation or how it would impact
on the original factors for the evaluation
of the technical capabilities of a potential
supplier. He also asked Lackhan to verify
if Amalgamated was the lowest bidder
for the contract. Baur said Amalgamated
employs 3,000 people in offices in several
Amalgamated also offers several others
services, little known to the public, like
private ambulance services, investigations
and geographical information systems.
We got an unfair deal
s s s s y s y
& A s s s s y s y
s C s
s y A 1 s
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