GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – More than 150 contractors participated in a contracting conference held by the Ghazni Provincial Reconstruction Team in Ghazni City Feb. 8.
The conference was organized to familiarize contractors from Ghazni Province with the requirements for submitting bids on projects organized by the PRT. The orientation was critical due to the large number of bids rejected as a result of errors, according to the PRT.
"This figure reaches up to 70 percent," said Polish Army Lt. Col. Cezary Kiszkowiak, Ghazni PRT deputy commander.
Therefore the same few companies won the majority of auctions the PRT organized.
"Not because there are so few (companies) here, but precisely because not all companies know how to properly prepare documents," said Kiszkowiak.
The Ghazni PRT wanted to give all the contractors the tools to competitively bid for contracts, he said.
PRT representatives provided information on the bidding procedures to the participants.
"We explained how to fill out the necessary forms, what are the applicable time limits, where to send the bid, what the required attachments should include, how to communicate with the PRT and what the most common errors are and what to do to avoid them," said Przemyslaw Kapuscinski, Ghazni PRT engineer.
Musa Khan, the governor of Ghazni Province, said the Ghazni PRT initiative is a very good step toward improving cooperation between local contractors and the PRT. He said training will enable more companies to participate in PRT tenders.
The conference benefited the PRTs and the contractors. For PRT specialists, the conference was also an opportunity to meet with a large number of contractors in one place, and it was easier for many of the contractors to meet at the governor’s office rather than Forward Operating Base Ghazni.
Organizers were positively surprised by the large number of participants, said Dominika Springer, PRT specialist for NGOs and small businesses. She said in January, they made initial contact with the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
"By collaborating with this institution we were able to reach a very large number of contractors with information and invitations about the conference,” said Springer. “Interestingly, information about the training also reached beyond the borders of the province as we also met people from Kabul at the conference."
The training for contractors was the first of its kind in Ghazni Province.
"We would like to have this type of training on a regular basis," said Polish Army Maj. Marek Klimasara, PRT officer.
"An additional, but very important, benefit of the training was that we could increase our database of Ghazni Province’s companies and contractors," Kiszkowiak said.
According to the PRT, they are one of the biggest investors in Ghazni Province. The active presence of the PRT provides dual benefits to the province and its residents; it enriches the province with schools, roads, bridges, etc., and the PRT contracts local companies which hire local workers to complete projects.
The training Feb. 8 increases the likelihood of more companies being able to effectively compete in tenders for PRT projects, said a PRT spokesperson.