TI-P raises eyebrows over amendments to PPRA rules, 2004

Business Recorder

ISLAMABAD: Transparency International – Pakistan (TI-P) has raised its eyebrows on amendments in PPRA rules, 2004 which are said to be allowing the public sector to accept single bid in violation of international practices. TI-P has written a letter to the Secretary to Prime Minister, Azam Khan, titled ” serious objections on the amendments in PPRA Rules, 2004, notified on May 15, 2020,” saying that the watchdog has received the following objections.

The PPRA Board is incomplete, as four board members out of 10 have not been appointed. According TI-P, The original definitions are.- (h) lowest evaluated bid means,- (i) a bid most closely conforming to evaluation criteria and other conditions specified in the bidding document; and (ii) having lowest evaluated cost;

The revised definitions are as follows.- (b) for clause (h), the following shall be substituted, namely:- (h) most advantageous bid means- (i) a bid or proposal for goods, works or services that after meeting the eligibility or qualification criteria, is found substantially responsive to the terms and conditions as set out in the bidding or request for proposals document; and (ii) evaluated as the highest ranked bid or proposal on the basis of cost or quality or qualification or any combination thereof, as specified in the bidding documents or request for proposal documents which shall be in conformity with the selection techniques to be issued by the Authority.

TI-P is of the view that the amended rules for selections of Consultants/Services, particularly QCBS, QBS and single source, will be used for works and goods also. The government has been asked to delete these amendments.

Ranking of bidders for services is allowed under PPRA Public Procurement Regulations, 2008 notified on July 11, 2008, which prescribes the following 5 methods. Method 1. section 2 (ii) procedure for selection under the quality based selection. QBS. In this method highest ranked proposal will be awarded the contract. Method 2. Section 2 B. (i) Quality and Cost Based Selection. QCBS I- (80% score for quality and 20% score for cost). A combined evaluation of technical and financial proposals shall follow and the applicant with the highest marked proposal will be awarded the contract.

Method 3. 2.C. (i) least cost.- LCS, This method will only be used for assignments of standard or routine nature, where well established practices and standards exist. Under LCS method proposals passing the technical score threshold shall then be treated equally and evaluated on the basis of cost only. Method 4. 2.D (i) Single source or direct selection.-

Another amendment says, 38A. Bid discount.- the procuring agencies may seek un-conditional discount by incorporating the same in bid solicitation documents. The bidder may offer unconditional discount, in percentage of their quoted price or bids, before opening of the financial proposal.

The discounted bid price shall be considered as original bid for evaluation being an integral part of the bid. No offer of discount shall be considered after the bids are opened Amendment 3- 38 B, single bid responsive bid in goods, works and services- (1) the procuring agency shall consider single bid in works and services, if it shows interest by evaluation in compliance of PPRA specifications and other terms and conditions and; (b) is not in conflict with any provision of the Ordinance; ( c) confirms to the technical specifications and; (d) has financial conformance in terms of rate reasonability; provided that except un-solicited proposal, in case of pre-qualification proceedings single bid is received.

TI-P says that the allegations of inclusion of nontransparent Rules under SRO No S. R. 0. 442(1)/2020 are prima facie against the International and national procurement rules, and are against also the requirement of SGD 16.

PPRA Board in its 6th board meeting held on 12.2.2008 decided that PPRA will not be involved in clearing functions in awarding of Contracts , then how PPRA vide letter of July 11, 2018 has given illegal advice to KPT on Tugs to be procured on QCBS method.

TI-P has also raised questions on presence of junior officials of KPT in the bidding process.

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