MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s IMSS health-care agency awarded a $9.1 million contract to a company that as recently as three weeks ago had no employees, according to official documents seen by EFE.
Key Thinking obtained a contract to supply IMSS hospitals with more than 1.5 million gowns for use by patients and operating-room personnel.
Two-dozen firms took part in the tender IMSS opened on May 30 for up to 700 million pesos ($39 million) in deals to provide compresses, clothing and mattresses, among other items.
The process included highly detailed specifications for each product.
Last Friday, the IMSS awarded contracts worth $33.8 million among nine different firms. The deal with Key Thinking was by far the largest, representing more than 25 percent of the total.
Two IMSS senior executives approved the contracts and the agency said that the total value of the deals came in at $4.4 million under budget.
Key Thinking, based in the Mexico City borough of Miguel Hidalgo, listed zero employees in its latest official report to authorities, dated July 4.
The amount of fabric needed to produce the 1.5 million garments Key Thinking has pledged to deliver, 1.3 million meters (4.62 million feet), would stretch from Mexico City to Dallas, Texas.
Under the terms of the contract, Key Thinking has 60 days from the date of signing to deliver 750,000 garments.
Given Key’s lack of staff, textile firms consulted by EFE questioned the company’s ability to produce the goods, let alone distribute them to the 63 IMSS warehouses scattered across Mexico.
Key Thinking failed to meet many of the requirements of the tender process, including the provision of samples and certification that the garments would meet all relevant standards.
Ordinarily, such omissions would be enough to disqualify a firm from bidding on a contract.