Covid-19 pandemic: TI-P accuses govts of not following rules

Business Recorder

Transparency International Pakistan (TI-P) has accused federal and provincial governments of not following rules meant to upload contracts awarded to procure goods worth billions of rupees for dealing with Covid-19 epidemic on their websites.

In letters to Secretary to Prime Minster, Azam Khan and Chief Ministers of three provinces, (TI-P) has raised this issue. Copies of which have also been sent to the Registrar Supreme Court of Pakistan, Registrars of High Courts and National Accountability Bureau (NAB). In a letter to Secretary to the Prime Minister, TI-P says that it has been noted that procurements are being made by Ministries and Department of the Federal Government and Provincial Governments based on emergency, using direct contracting, under the Public Procurement Rules.2004 for Federal Government and respective Public Procurement Rules by the four provinces.

TI-P is of the view that no time can be wasted in public tendering, and rules are made that in such situation, when emergency is declared, direct contracting is permissible under emergency as defined in these rules and procurement specified under sub-rule 42 (c) of the Public Procurement Rules, 2004.

However, there is no exemption allowed to any procuring agency from Rule 47. This Rule has been incorporated in order that the rates and prices are known to public, whereby public can scrutinize any overpriced rate/purchase by comparing prices for similar procurements by different departments.

Rule 47 relates to public access and transparency, and stipulates that as soon as a contract has been awarded the procuring agency shall make all documents related to the evaluation of the bid and award of contract public.

TI-P has noted that all departments of Federal government are violating Rule 47, and no contract awarded under rules as direct contract is uploaded on the website of PPRA.

As a result of TI Pakistan’s advocacy, the Sindh Government has issued the notification to all the procuring agencies in Sindh who are selecting “alternative methods of procurement – Direct Contracting” to hoist the contract award information of all the contracts award on the Authority’s website. The notification also requires the procuring agencies that in future the contract award information be hoisted on MSSPPRA website: https://ppms.pprasindh.gov.pk/PPMS/public/portal/contract_list.

Transparency International- Pakistan has requested Prime Minister to consider application of this rule in all Federal Ministries by the Managing Director of PPRA, by issuing notifications that all the procuring agencies who are selecting ” alternative methods of procurement -Direct Contracting” to also hoist the contract award information of all contracts on the Authority’s website for past and future contracts.

In the letter to Chief Minister, Balochistan, TI-P says that there is no exemption allowed to any procuring agency, from Rule 49, according to which within 45 days of award of contract, procuring agency shall publish on the website of the Authority and on its own website, if which website exists, the results of the bidding process, indentifying the bid through procurement indentifying number, if any, and the following information;(i) contract evaluation report;(ii) form of contract and letter of award and;(iii) bill of quantities or schedule of requirement.

Chief Minister, KP has been informed that direct contracting is permissible under emergency as defined in the rules and procurement specified under-sub rule 3(2) (a) and 3(2)(b) of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa Public Procurement of Goods, Works and Services, 2014. The rule page 21 says that all contract awards shall be made public through publication on authority’s website.

In a letter to Chief Minister, Punjab, TI-P says that rule number 66 public access and transparency explains that as soon a contract has been awarded the procuring agency shall make all documents related to the evaluation of the bid and award of contract public.

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