Three tugs: TI-P raises objections on tendering process

Business Recorder

ISLAMABAD: Transparency International-Pakistan (TI-P) has raised objections on tendering process of three tugs to be procured by Port Qasim Authority (PQA). In a letter to Chairman PQA, Chairman TI-P said that the organization has observed that PQA has published notice of invitation to tenders in newspapers which are to be submitted on August 25, 2020.

The following are the observations of Transparency International Pakistan on Port Qasim Authority tender: (i) three separate tenders are invited for the same goods, four ASD Tugs and bid security in the form of a pay order is to be submitted by the bidder for the three tenders; (ii) three tenders are invited for lease purchase suppliers credit basis for which the successful bidder shall undertake the construction of the newly constructed tugs and will be responsible for manning, operations, maintenance, repair, replacement of spare parts and dry docking (except for fuel, water, oils and lubricants to be provided by PQA. The four newly-constructed tugs shall be delivered for operations at Port Qasim, Karachi within 12 months of opening of letter of credit. The lease period of the newly-constructed four tugs shall be of five years commencing from the date of tugs’ operation at Port Qasim. Purchase Basis: the successful bidder shall undertake the construction of the newly constructed four ASD LNG compatible tugs. The four newly-constructed tugs shall be delivered for operations at Port Qasim, Karachi, within 12 months of opening of Letter of credit; and the successful bidder shall undertake the construction of the newly-constructed tugs and will be responsible for manning, operations, maintenance, repair, replacement of spare parts and dry docking (except for fuel, water, oils and lubricant to be provided by PQA.). The four newly-constructed tugs shall be delivered for operations at Port Qasim, Karachi , within 12 months of opening of letter of credit. The contract period for manning, operations and maintenance shall be of five years commencing from the date of successful trials at Port Qasim. These four tugs are required to be supplied in 12 months from the opening of letter of credit.

TI-P is of the view that these three tenders appear to be an effort to avoid procurement of four ASD tugs for LNG carriers/FSRU and other vessels, as the evaluation criteria cannot be prepared to compare the four ASD tugs under three different options prescribed by Port Qasim Authority.

The anti-graft organization further observed that one bidder may be lowest evaluated bidder in option(a) but in option(b) the highest evaluated bidder in option(a) may be evaluated as the lowest evaluated bidder. “In this scenario, how Port Qasim Authority will award a contract, which may become an issue of relegation, or some favorite bidder may be awarded the contract who is lowest in any of the three options,” said, Chairman TI-P, Sohail Muzaffar.

TI-P further stated that similar procurements were also conducted in 2014, which was objected by it for “violation” of various PPRA Rules on July 19, 2014 and September 17, 2014.

At that time too a “favourite” party who made LNG tug was awarded contract on leasing basis which has cost Port Qasim Authority more than twice the cost of tugs in last five years. This procurement of Port Qasim Authority also seems to be an effort to make the procurement a Port Qasim Authority disputed issue, so that the rented tugs from the same supplier may be awarded. Transparency International Pakistan has recommended that Port Qasim Authority must invite clean tender, choosing only three options as per given tendering.

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