SPPRA continues to hide NITs to award contracts to favourites


KARACHI: Although the Sindh Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (SPPRA) claims to have launched new MIS system namely ‘Procurement Performance Management System’, the multi-million government contracts are yet being awarded to blue-eyed contractors by hiding the Notice Inviting Tenders (NITs) on the authority’s website, Pakistan Today has learned.

The new system was developed with the assistance of the World Bank for increasing transparency, fairness and efficiency in the public procurement process.

However, no fairness is yet witnessed in the overall tendering process as the mafias are still operating in the SPPRA and the influential contractors, with the help of authority officers, are still involved in hiding NITs, according to sources.

According to the sources, more than a dozen government contractors have also complained about the hiding of the NITs by the SPPRA officials, but no action has so far been taken against those involved.

A contractor namely S & Sons, who has a good reputation in district Hyderabad, submitted a written complaint to the SPPRA on April 10, 2018, pointing out the malpractices by the Hyderabad XEN Building Division (HXBD) along with the officials of SPPRA for hiding an NIT of Rs35 million.

According to the sources, HXBD issued tender/bidding documents to his blue-eyed contractors to award the contract in return for heavy bribes.

“XEN Building Division is not fair with the bidders and also violating the set rules of procurement while procuring goods, works or services and the procurements were not conducted ina transparent manner in terms of Rule-4 of the Sindh Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (SPPRA) Rules, 2010 (Amended 2013)”, sources added.

The sources said that HXBD had also invited a hidden NIT vide TC/G-55/1412 of 2017 dated 6-12-2017 for Rs64 million that was also kept secret while the NIT was not published in the leading newspapers.

According to the sources, the IT section of the SPPRA has allegedly been involved in hiding tenders from the authority’s website and online it at the same day that resulted in the awarding of multi million worth contracts to their blue-eyed contractors.

The sources informed that in the recent past, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has also launched investigations into the matter citing it as cybercrime while the anti-corruption authorities have also raided and seized the record a few days ago.

When contacted, SPPRA Director Rafia Haleem said she would seek an explanation from the concerned quarters in a day or two and cancel the NIT so as to ensure transparency in the procuring process.