Mexico defends €7bn telecoms tender after Ganley bid disqualified

Mexico’s government has defended the exclusion of Declan Ganley’s Rivada from a massive €7bn telecoms tender process.

The Galway-based businessman and political campaigner criticised the process on Friday night, after Mexican authorities disqualified a consortium he backs from the running to build and run a national wholesale mobile network, dubbed Red Compartida.
That decision left just one bid in the race. Yesterday, Mexico’s Ministry of Telecoms and Transportation said that bid, from local consortium Altan, had met all technical specifications – clearing the way for the contract to be awarded on November 17.

Altan is made up of Axtel, Megacable and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Mexico said the joint bid from Rivada Networks and Spectrum Frontier was disqualified for failing to meet financial terms set down for the process. On Friday, Mr Ganley insisted his firm had demonstrated it had the required €50m security to underpin its submission, posted as letters of credit from a large Mexican bank.

However, yesterday, the head of the tendering authority at Mexico’s Ministry for Communications and Transportation (SCT), Ezequiel Gil Huerta, said the bond “should have been included within the technical proposal” submitted by Rivada, but was missing.
The technical disqualification of Rivada means its economic proposal will not be evaluated, he said.

Mr Ganley used Twitter to complain about the process on Friday.
“Frankly, process in Mexico stinks … it is now being pared down for just one individual bidder, there will be no competition,” he said.

He insisted the Rivada bid was fully funded.
“Rivada is immediately suing to assert our rights to fair competition and rights of the people of Mexico to have a #RedCompartida competition,” Mr Ganley said.

He also said his firm’s bid had been hampered when raiders hijacked document boxes in a daylight raid in the Mexican capital, last month.
Authorities in Mexico however defended their tender process, saying it met the highest possible standards.

“The tender of Red Compartida has followed the best international transparency practices.
“The process included three public consultations prior to the publishing of the tender rules, and two rounds of questions and answers were held.

“In addition, Transparencia Mexicana, social witness of the tender, has participated throughout the process.
“Red Compartida is the first Public Private Partnership project worldwide that has been conducted in accordance to the Open Data Contracting Standard promoted by the World Bank.

“This standard gives total transparency to a tender process since its inception and until the end of its implementation.”

Rivada said it plans to contest the decision in the courts, and that it had met every requirement set by the Mexican government.
The huge project is a centre piece of Mexican telecoms policy, likely to involve the construction and management of 12,000 mobile phone towers and delivering coverage to 85pc of Mexico’s far flung population in five years.

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