IT dept tender cancelled after questions over its fairness
KARACHI: Although the Sindh government claims to have followed all relevant rules while publishing an advertisement in newspapers for hiring consultants, it has cancelled the process in ‘public interest’ after the Transparency International Pakistan had raised some questions, Dawn has learnt.
However, officials said that if the rules had been followed, the cancellation of the whole process merely because it had been questioned by the TIP was not justified and it called for a thorough probe into the issue so that facts could be revealed.
According to the sources, the Sindh information technology department had printed advertisements — Expression of Interests (EOI) — to hire consultants to prepare a feasibility report on data centre a few days ago and 12 bidders had participated in the process.
On April 16, Adil Gilani of the TIP wrote a letter to the department saying that it had received complaints regarding ‘wrongdoings’ in the process in which the Sindh Public Procurement Regulatory Authority Rules 2010 were also not being followed.
In its April 23 response, the Sindh IT department claimed that it had always complied with the SPPRA Rules 2010 and this complainant — though not a single bidder among the 12 contestants had submitted any complaint — had not approached the department and it seemed that the complaint had been lodged with the TIP because of some “personal grudge” in order to stop the IT department from embarking upon this project.
“However, since this EOI process has been called into question by an organisation of the calibre of Transparency International, the competent authority, in the public interest has decided to cancel the EOI and will soon re-issue a new EOI after clearing out any ambiguity which may be present in the last EOI,” said the April 23 letter written by the section officer (general) for the secretary to the government of Sindh, the information technology department, to Mr Gilani of the TIP.
The officials said that if all the relevant rules had been followed by the IT department then why was the whole process — on which a lot of public money had been spent — being cancelled and why the whole process was to be re-started — on which once again a lot of public money would be spent.
They suggested that a high-level inquiry was instituted into the issue so that truth could be unearthed and it could be seen if the points of alleged nepotism, non-following of rules, etc, raised by the TIP were true or not.