MANAUS – With the extinction of corporate financing of election campaigns, it is difficult to know, officially, if companies hired by the elected public manager are the same that helped in the elections. Elected with a difference of 22 thousand votes last year, the mayor of Manaus, David Almeida (Avante), is in charge of one of the most important purchasing processes of his administration, the bid for the purchase of asphalt concrete, budgeted in more than $ 200 million.
To take care of this process, the mayor determined the holder of the Municipal Department of Infrastructure (Seminf), the vice mayor, Marcos Rotta, to assign the service to his former director of Procurement in the Legislative Assembly of Amazonas (Aleam), the lawyer Valcerlan Ferreira Cruz. David was president of the Aleam in the biennium 2016-2018.
Valcerlan is childhood friend of David Almeida and was named to be the authorizer of expenditure in Seminf, a function that, usually, is of the holder of the department. Valcerlan’s assignment was made official during the initial period of the bid evaluation process for the purchase of asphalt by the Municipal Bidding Commission (CML), on July 1, whose final decision depends on Seminf, during the technical evaluation phase.
With a liquid salary of R$ 10.4 thousand and always seen in suits of the brand “Ricardo Almeida” (they cost as much as R$ 20 thousand) in his “Mercedes-Benz” car, Valcerlan had his partiality in the management questioned by businessmen who participate in the asphalt bidding. The reason is the modification of the decisions of the Municipal Bidding Commission (CML).
There is suspicion about the technical analysis of the public bid, that among the candidates are owners of construction companies with relatives in the Judiciary and friends of the mayor, such as Alexandre Andrade Evangelista, owner of Ardo Construções and a member of the Adventist Church, the same one that David attends.
Ardo was among the companies disqualified, initially, by the Municipal Bidding Commission in the documentary phase and then was classified, according to the result of the appeal of the documentation of qualification and opening of price proposals for Public Bidding 01/2021.
The bidding process for hiring Seminf asphalt concrete suppliers began in June and, among the phases, are the evaluation of documents, analysis of price proposals, and a visit to learn about the company’s technical capacity.
At least 23 construction companies participated to bid for 12 lots of services of the Municipal Department of Infrastructure. Of this number, 11 construction companies were initially qualified in the documentation phase. The same company cannot have more than three lots, according to the legislation that governs the process.
In the document from the Municipal Bidding Commission, in the price proposal analysis stage, on August 30th, Pomar Comércio was out of the list of qualified companies. At this stage, four companies were approved, each getting three lots: DR7 Serviços e Obras, Holmes Transportes Rodoviário, Iza Construções, and PR Construções e Terraplanagem.
Days later, the CML’s list changed. Even though it came in fourth and fifth place in the price phase for lots 8 and 12, respectively, Pomar Comércio was added to the approved list, according to an August 5 rectification by the Municipal Bidding Commission.
On the 24th of the same month, Valcerlan Ferreira – David Almeida’s “man” at Seminf – published the price list, with Pomar Comércio already on the approved list, and the process moved on to the technical visits stage.
On August 19th, the undersecretary Valcerlan Ferreira published the homologation order of the companies able to supply the asphalt, considering the “inexistence of any pending appeal” and considering the “perfect regularity” of the bidding process, in compliance with the legal norms.
Of the five construction companies that got the 12 lots of asphalt supply from Seminf, three are at risk of “downgrading” in the classification, according to a report to CENARIUM. With the “change, Ardo Construções – the same as David Almeida’s church friend – can “move up”, that is, be benefited.
PR Construções was visited by Seminf technicians on August 30. In the Technical Inspection Report 011/2021, the team recommended that the company “not be hired” for not “meet the basic project”.
According to the report’s findings, PR is one of the construction companies that runs the risk of leaving the asphalt bidding process. The other two companies preferred not to identify themselves by fear of retaliation.
The Manaus City Hall, through the Municipal Department of Communication (Semcom), was sought to speak on the matter, but did not respond to the questioning of the agenda. The secretary of the Municipal Department of Infrastructure, Marcos Rotta, also, was asked to speak, but, until the close of the article, did not return.
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