LDA openly flouting tender rules

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LAHORE: Under the nose of a Punjab government losing no moment to champion good governance, the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) is flouting the rules and regulations for floating tenders of development projects worth million of rupees, Pakistan Today has learnt.
A senior LDA official revealed to Pakistan Today that the glaring violations in floating of tenders could be gauged with the fact that LDA had hired around 40 private firms through pre-qualification processes without publicizing any development projects for Johar Town, Faizal Town, Sabzazar and other areas.
He said that as per Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules followed by all government departments, without publicizing development projects a pre-qualification process could never be legitimized.
“The LDA constructed the building of the one-window cell without floating the tender and meeting procedural requirements. Another managerial stunt is that dates of floating tenders are changed at the eleventh hour. The day of opening is changed without informing all private firms just to oblige the favourite contractors,” the official said.
Suspicious delay notices: Details obtained by Pakistan Today reveal that LDA had to issue tenders for various development projects on November 3. But it deferred the date informing the contractors to resume the process after Eid Ul Azha. Surprisingly, the tenders were opened on November 8 with the connivance of the LDA engineering branch and representatives of the contractors association.
Tenders were given to contractors who were taken on board already through the illegal pre-qualification process. The connivance in the contracting was large enough for the contracts to be at 4 percent more than the estimated total expenditure of development projects. To continue the illegal tendering safely, Area Development Scheme (ADS I) Director Malik Mushtaq was replaced with director Ijaz Kosar.
A senior official of grade 19, Malik Mushtaq was mandated to monitor the tendering and development project. Known to not be conducive to the mafia, he was posted as ADS II. While SDO Kashif Durrani was made in charge of tendering process and development projects.
An admission?: LDA director (ADS I) Ijaz Kosar talking to Pakistan Today admitted that tenders had been awarded though poll system (a mechanism under which already enlisted firms are awarded project without publicizing pre-qualification process in print and electronic media). Ijaz said that he had nothing to do with the pre-qualification process as it had been done before his posting.
He confirmed that contracts were given on 4 percent extra charges of the total expenditure but claimed that LDA had the prerogative to do as above the 4 percent limit, permission was required from the Punjab government. LDA one-window cell: LDA engineering branch official said LDA constructed one-window cell at LDA’s Johar Town office at a cost of Rs 25.5 million without floating the tenders and seeking prequalification process.
Spreading over an area of 4,500 square feet, the one-window cell has separate counters for imparting information to the visitors, receiving and scrutinising applications and giving them challan forms, transfer letters, approved building plans or other documents after their applications had been disposed off.
Ijaz Kosar also admitted that construction of one window was executed without tenders but the loophole had been resolved after issuing its tenders and now all procedure had been regularized.