THE state audit service will include an agreement between the Co-operative Central Bank (CCB) and Universal Life insurance company in its ongoing audit after the issue went to parliament because it appeared that the contract had been awarded to the highest bidder.
Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides told the House watchdog committee that what was under scrutiny was whether the CCB followed sound commercial practices.
“We are auditing the co-operative sector during this period,” he said. “We have taken a large sample of contracts for audit, this was not included, we will also take this.”
CCB senior director Marios Papadopoulos said the bank invited bids after its insurer, Allianz, raised its premiums.
“We succeeded in giving our members the means to remain insured at lower premiums,” Papadopoulos said.
Universal Life CEO Andreas Kritiotis voiced the company’s readiness to submit any document relating to the financial aspect of the bid. The contract and other information are at the auditor’s disposal, he said.
Competing insurance companies suggested that the procedures followed were dubious.
CNP Cyprialife official Takis Phidias said his company met all tender conditions and was better across all criteria from the company that won the bid.
He said they had asked the CCB to provide them with the reasons they had been rejected but were told that the bank was not obliged to do so.
Evangelos Anastasiades, representing Altius Insurance, said his company had submitted a bid with a lower premium and handed the committee a memo listing the reasons they believed the procedure that was followed was unreliable.
Citizens Alliance MP Anna Theologou, who tabled the issue for discussion, said the CCB had awarded the competition to the highest bidder.
Theologou also charged that the other companies were not allowed to appeal the rejection of their bid.