FFBL violates public procurement rules

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KARACHI – Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim (FFBL) has awarded a contract of independent 7MGD water line commissioning to a highest bidder in violation of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules. It has been learnt that a letter of intimation over this violation of rules by the FFBL was written to Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani by a local construction company seeking his intervention over the violation of public procurement rules by FFBL in the said project.
According to the details the letter was written by Faryad Construction Company, a registered contractor with Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC), on November 8th, 2010, to the Chief of Army Staff demanding a justice over the inobservance of PPRA rules 2004, tender conditions, unfair and non-transparent procurement practices by FFBL.
The letter said that it is submitted that we have participated in a tender for supply, construction and commissioning of 7MGD independent water line for FFBL from Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KW&SB) K-III conduct to FFBL reservoir that is invited on 12 July, 2010 and opened on 20 August 2010. FFBL is neither following PPRA Rules 2004 nor observing its own conditions mentioned in the tender i.e. criterion to select the most appropriate bid required to qualify for the approval and subsequently placement of the contract, the letter stated.
‘We, as a bidder, were aggrieved due to the method of evaluation / action of FFBL and represented with the relevant authority vide letter no FCC/FFBL/10 dated 22nd October, 2010, but so far without any outcome,’ the company said, adding that since FFBL management is silent on the representation and reluctant to open results of evaluation for technical bid approval and the result of financial bid i.e. the rates of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd lowest of technically approved bids, as allowed by the PPRA Rules 2004.
Therefore, the prevailing circumstances fairly lead to a conclusion that they intend to place the contract on the highest bidder on the rates as per mutual settlement by ignoring the 1st lowest and the 2nd lowest bids. In case FFBL place the contract to the highest bidder, then this practice appears to be a mockery of the entire procurement method resulting frustration in the trade industry, the letter stated. The company cited that it has been reported in the media that all the departments, directorates (Ministry of Defense) under your kind control shall follow the PPRA Rules and since then we are observing that Directorate General Defense Procurement (Army), Cantonment Boards and Defense Housing Authorities are following the instructions even DGP (Army) tenders are regularly appearing on PPRA official web site.
‘Sir, in the light of above submission, since the FFBL is associated with the Fauji Foundation whose approach appears to be not ‘only failing to be open and transparent and as such also against the spirit of fair competition among the bidders discriminating by taking decision in favor of the highest bidder. It is also against the interest of the FFBL, Fauji Foundation, the beneficiaries of the Fauji Foundation and the administration of the Foundation under the Scheme of Administration for Fauji Foundation which rests upon your kind authority,’ the letter stated.
It is requested to kindly uphold the justice and direct the relevant authority to evaluate the tender and place the contract while practicing all norms of transparency as per PPRA Rules 2004 and the relevant conditions as mentioned in the tender conditions, the company requested. They further said that in case FFBL has awarded the contract to the highest bidder, as apprehended, then the contract may kindly be also declared null and void as mis-procurement as per rules provided in the PPRA rules 2004 and fresh tender may be invited. When contacted, Mr. Ahmed, an assistant of FFBL Manager Technical Services, declined to tell as why the award of the contract was given to the highest bidder.