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New e-auction for computer-tablet procurement to reopen tomorrow

A fresh e-auction process for Zones 1 and 2 of the government's One Tablet Per Child project will tomorrow start to select new suppliers, replacing a Chinese firm that has ended its contract with Thai authorities.

This academic year, not a single student has received a tablet computer from the government because of procurement problems.

Shenzhen Yitoa Intelligent Control, which initially won the e-auction in Zones 1 and 2, has failed to make any deliveries and initiated termination of its contract.

Bidding documents for the fresh e-auction will be sold from tomorrow onward.

"Then, the new e-auction will take place on March 27," caretaker Education Minister Chaturon Chaisang said yesterday.

He said the results would be announced on March 30.

The chosen suppliers are expected to deliver the computer tablets between May 5 and June 30.

Shenzhen Yitoa Intelligent Control, meanwhile, will be asked to pay a hefty fine of Bt108 million plus an amount of compensation.

"The fine shall be imposed on the firm for its failure to deliver the tablets. We will also ask for compensation to cover damages. We may have to pay more for tablets when we get new suppliers than compared with prices offered by Shenzhen Yitoa Intelligent Control," Chaturon said.

The firm has submitted Bt120 million as a security deposit for the tablet purchase deal with Thailand's Office of Basic Education Commission (Obec).

The supplier chosen for Zone 4, Jasmine Telecom Systems, has also not yet made a delivery. But it promises to make the first before the end of this month.

In Zone 3, Obec was initially reluctant to endorse Supreme Distribution (Thailand) as the successful bidder. Its e-bid was not much lower than the standard price and there were just two bidders for the zone.

However, after clear problems emerged with Shenzhen Yitoa Intelligent Control, and Jasmine Telecom Systems, which offered a much lower price, Obec is now preparing to sign a purchase contract with Supreme Distribution (Thailand) on February 28.

The firm will then make deliveries between April 5 and June 30.


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