The São Paulo Court of Auditors wants explanations from the state government and the Butantan Foundation about the purchase, without bidding, of 1,500 respirators to help in the treatment of seriously ill patients infected with covid-19. The signed contract totals R $ 176 million.
The Accountant, Dimas Ramalho, gave 15 working days to the leaders of the Secretariat of Health, the Foundation and the Butantan Institute and the contracted company to present justifications for a series of questions. Among them, the supposed equipment overprice. The Public Prosecutor’s Office compared the costs of respirators acquired by the Butantan Foundation and other states and municipalities, in addition to conducting a survey of the average value in the national market, and concluded that there was a loss of approximately R $ 30 thousand per unit.
In addition, the Court of Auditors wants to know the reason why the price research that preceded the contracting raised only budgets from foreign suppliers at a time ‘unfavorable to the purchase of imported products due to the devaluation of the real against the dollar in the period, a fact that raised estimated purchase values. ‘
Ramalho also questions the reason why the acquisition was made by the Butantan Foundation, a private entity, at the request of the Butantan Institute, but the assets donated to the Department of Health, the Hospital das Clínicas of the USP Medical School and the City of São Paulo .
The justification for the acquisition of equipment appears in Official Letter No. 088/2020, forwarding a request from the Butantan Institute to the Butantan Foundation, that the purchase is due to the performance of that Institute in its commitment to contribute to the fight against the New Coronavirus in the State of However, the commercial relationship for the acquisition of the equipment would be carried out by the Butantan Foundation and the goods donated to the State Department of Health, to the Hospital das Clínicas of the Faculty of Medicine and to the City of São Paulo “, says excerpt reproduced in the order of the accountant.
Points related to the monitoring of the contract were also mentioned. Full payment before the goods are issued, for example.
The report contacted the São Paulo Health Department and is awaiting a response. The space is open for manifestation
“The Butantan Foundation informs that it acquired 1,500 respirators, fulfilling all legal requirements, with the objective of saving lives and contributing to the State Department of Health in coping with the pandemic of COVID-19.
It is totally frivolous to talk about price and compare the values of respirators imported by the Butantan Foundation with other technically different equipment, not conventionally used in an intensive care unit or not available on the market at the time of purchase.
The acquisition took place after a price survey, and the one with the lowest price and the delivery time compatible with the epidemiological scenario of the new coronavirus pandemic was selected. The speed of delivery of the equipment allowed the expansion of ICU beds in the SUS of São Paulo, which is essential to ensure that no citizen with severe covid-19 is left without care.
It is important to emphasize that the acquisition of respirators is in compliance with the Foundation’s Contracting and Purchasing Regulation, contemplating the procedures to comply with the principles of equality, objectivity, advertising, efficiency, economy and competition.
The Butantan Foundation, whose mission is to collaborate with Governments and public or private entities in promoting the culture and health of the population in general, has not yet been notified and is at the disposal of the State Court of Auditors and all organs of control.”
The report contacted the Butantan Institute and is awaiting a response. The space is open for manifestation.