The Public Procurement Monitoring Office (PPMO) has blacklisted Omni Business Corporate International for one year, for its involvement in a controversial procurement deal of medical supplies.

Issuing a public notice on Monday, PPMO said that the Omni will not be qualified for any public bidding for the next one year. PPMO has cited the firm’s failure to supply adequate medical goods in the first batch of delivery and its lack of ability to deliver all goods in time as the reasons for its decision.

The decision comes amid allegations that the government was dilly-dallying action against Omni in a bid to protect the controversial company from being blacklisted.

As per section 63 (c) of the Public Procurement Act, PPMO may blacklist a firm if it is proved that a firm has made substantial error in the implementation of the procurement contract or has not substantially fulfilled the obligation under the procurement contract or the work carried out under the procurement contract is not of the quality set by the contract.

On April 12, PPMO had sought clarification from Omni as to why it should not be blacklisted for its alleged involvement in irregularities during the procurement and supply of medical goods for the COVID-19.

The Department of Health under Ministry of Health had also courted controversy after it hastily chose Omni from between just two firms to import medical equipment from China.

On April 1, the Department of Health Services scrapped its agreement with Omni regarding the purchase of protective gear, reagents and other medical equipment from China after it was revealed that the company had secured the contract despite quoting much higher prices compared to the prices quoted by other bidders.

Omni has been able to secure several government contracts such as the Rs 3 billion project to open IT labs in 930 community schools, printing of ballot papers for the Election Commission three years ago, and supplying paper to the Janak Sikshya Samagri Kendra mainly due to it closeness with the political big-wigs.

Along with Omni, PPMO has also blacklisted two other construction companies — Shree Arun Construction, Maiwakhola, Taplejung for a year and Shree BT/Taudaha/Phasku J.V for two years for their failure to complete the awarded tasks on time.