3G auction process: UK's Interconnect qualifies, albeit technically, for consultancy -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

3G auction process: UK’s Interconnect qualifies, albeit technically, for consultancy

By: TAHIR AMIN

The Evaluation Committee has selected Interconnect Communication – a UK-based company for providing consultancy on 3G auction process however, the company was not given the final nod after queries by the stakeholders on the financial proposals of the company.

Due to delay in 3G auction, a loss of Rs 38 million is being borne by the exchequer per day, said Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Farooq Ahmad Awan, adding that up till now a loss of Rs 20-22 billion has so far been incurred. He was chairing a meeting of the Evaluation Committee constituted for hiring international consultant for the auction of 3G licenses, which was held here on Monday to brief the media regarding its progress. He said it was included in the Request for Proposal (RFP) that the process of 3G auctions, including hiring of consultant, should be made public to ensure transparency.

When the meeting started, Chairman PTA directed the convenor of the committee to submit evaluation report before the authority as it has been finalised. However Convenor of the Evaluation Committee Dr Khawar Siddique Khokar Member (Technical) once again refused to brief media in front of Chairman PTA with the plea that the matter is secret and he was not allowed to brief the media. He said that prior to issuing the Letter of Intent (LoI), the evaluation report could not be made public. It was for the second time that PTA member refused in front of the chairman to brief media on the evaluation report, and left the meeting.

On this Chairman PTA said he would suggest the Prime Minister to take disciplinary action against Dr Khawar Siddique Khokar. DG (S&D) Waseem Tauqeer, who is a member of the Evaluation Committee, told participants that Interconnect Company has been technically qualified. He briefed media pertaining to salient features adopted during the evaluation process of hiring consultant for 3G auction. He said out of three bidders two did not qualify according to the PPRA rules. Interconnect Communication has qualified so far and got 74 marks out of 100, he added.

Waseem said since no other financial proposal technically qualified to reach the second stage therefore, the evaluation committee only had one financial proposal to consider. In light of this, the conditional financial bids submitted by the bidders almost make it impossible to compare the consultancy service charges with the market price of the service to be provided.

However, Advisor to Prime Minister on Information Technology Dr Basit and PTA Chairman Farooq Awan raised questions on the financial bid for Interconnect Communication Company and asked the committee to finalise the draft within two days. Other consultancy companies including Access Partnership and E-Procurement Technology submitted their proposals; however the committee found the proposals from these companies incomplete and unprofessional and did not accept them.

Chairman PTA said that whole process of 3G auction in the country would be completed in a transparent way and in this regard the Prime Minister has given clear directions to take all the stakeholders including media on board. He said to ensure transparency, PTA did not interfere and the evaluation committee worked independently.

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