TIP asks Tarin to review corruption allegations against NBP

Pakistan Today

ISLAMABAD: The Transparent International Pakistan (TIP) has requested Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin to examine the allegations against National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) in a case pertaining to the violation of PPRA rules.

According to the details, in its letter to the finance minister, the TIP highlighted the alleged violation of PPRA rules, 2004 in awarding a contract worth approximately Rs26 billion for scanning and indexing of documents to a single bidder.

Documents state that NBP invited tenders for Document Management System (DMS) in August, 2018, which received eight bids on November 17 whereas bids were opened on the same day. The bank then posted the evaluation report on PPRA’s website after a lapse of 19 months, on June 15, 2020.

Three out of eight bidders did not submit bids while four were disqualified with the justification that they did not conform to the specified requirements, after which a single bid of M/s A.S C. First Solution Pvt. Ltd. was declared as the lowest evaluated bidder.

The bidder quoted Rs0.95 for scanning, Rs2.I5 for indexing; Rs115 to cover the cost of a box with seal, Rs30 cost of transferring to the warehouse; Rs19.50 per box as storage rental and Rs75 for retrieval.

The total cost of the contract has not been declared, but is estimated around Rs26 billion for all 1,450 branches of NBP based on medium-sized branches generating over 100,000 documents including cheques in a five year period.

TIP has alleged that prima facie, NBP, has violated the PPRA rules 26, 35 and 47 and awarded a contract to a single bidder, adding that undeclared total evaluated cost in the evaluation report is proof of collusion under PPRA Rule 2(f) is dubious. The civil society organisation has said that the contract must be cancelled if the bank is found guilty.

The senior management of NBP was approached for their comments on this matter but no reply was received till filing of story.

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