Tenders from Argentina's Health Ministry to purchase ten thousand wooden human penises, condom dispensers and briefcases for sex educational purposes have yielded no successful results due to excessive pricing and other irregularities, it was reported.
Four bids had been received, but none of them had shown appropriate guarantees within the specified deadline, prices were above estimates and some of the companies were already in debt to the AFIP tax bureau.
The items had been requested by the Directorate of Response to HIV, STIs, Viral Hepatitis and Tuberculosis for the general population and health care professionals, to be distributed throughout Primary Health Care Centers (CAPS), Health Regions, Provincial and Municipal Programs and other establishments throughout the country.
While the Ministry had estimated AR $ 13,371,100 for the acquisition, the closest bid for the three products amounted to AR $ 14,870,000. It was rejected because it does not present the original or the pertinent certificate of the individualized guarantee in the offer physically within the established term,” according to the Argentine government's website.
Another bidder had asked for AR $ 2,098 for each of the 10,000 dispensers alone, making it $ 20,980,000 for just one of the three items. “It is not adjusted because its quoted unit price exceeds the referential unit price estimated by the requesting unit by 156.37%. It is not adjusted, because it has liquid and enforceable or pension debt before the AFIP as of 08/05/2021,″ the authorities said.
An offer of AR $ 1,430 for each wooden penis was also rejected because its quoted unit price exceeds the referential unit price estimated by the requesting unit by 717.07%.
Another bidder wanted AR $ 882 for each male genitalia unit, but could only supply half the required quantity. In addition to that, the firm also lacked the “pertinent certificate of the individualized guarantee in the offer physically within the established period.
Therefore, after reviewing all bids, the Ministry declared all of them unsuccessful.
The materials were intended to raise awareness and prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and other ITS within the framework of Law No. 23,798.
“The current situation in our country concerning the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, such as syphilis, shows an increase in diagnoses, especially in the cases of adolescents and young people. All this determines the need for policies of prevention in Sexual Health, sustained and of national impact [...]
In relation to the use of condoms, so that their use is adequate, training and health education are carried out for young people and adolescents. This is why material is needed so that, through Comprehensive Sex Education, the proper use is transmitted,” the authorities behind the initiative had detailed.