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Senate panel reviews rules for awarding govt contracts


The Senate Standing Committee on Communications on Wednesday reviewed the procedures and rules for eligibility regarding bidding, tendering and procurement process for highways and motorways projects.

A committee meeting chaired by its Chairman Senator Hidayatullah, also discussed the role of consultant in the National Highway Authority (NHA) projects, including the new technical and financially-sound companies but lacked the required experience.

The meeting also reviewed various issues, including the matters of public importance raised in the Senate sessions regarding gas schemes in Sindh and implementation of a motion passed in house regarding payment for land acquired for a road project in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

During the meeting, Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) Chairman Javed Saleem Qureshi briefed the committee about the eligibility procedure and rules for bidding, tendering and procurement process for highways and motorways projects.

The PEC chairman also informed the committee about the role of consultants in the NHA projects and solutions for new technical and financially-sound companies in the projects that did not have the required experience.

The committee chairman stressed that not only the new companies needed to be encouraged to come forward in projects, but they should also be given benefits according to the rules and regulations. He said that a mechanism should be devised which would benefit as many people as possible.

Dr Jahanzeb Jamaldini said that lowest-bidders were prioritised for the award of contract for public projects, but pointed out that the quality of the work of those was not up to the mark. “This system needs to be fixed,” he said.

The committee summoned the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority PPRA, PEC and NHA officials on its next meeting to look into the matter. The chair also summoned the concerned provincial departments, including the provincial chief engineers.

About the public importance issue raised by Sassui Palijo in the Senate on January 6, 2020 regarding gas schemes in her area, Sui Southern Gas Company officials said that the project was completed in 2017. Now only 12 kilometres of work remained which would be done at a cost of Rs7 million.

Officials told the committee that no payment had been made after 2018. Other schemes in Sindh were also halted for two years, they added. An NHA official informed the committee that as soon as the payment was made, work would resume.

Senator Sabir Shah pointed out that Hazara Motorway was in dilapidated condition just after two years of its construction. The standing committee decided to visit the Hazara Motorway and link roads.

The meeting was attended by senators Liaquat Tarakai, Salahuddin Tirmizi, Shahzaib Durrani, Yousuf Badini, Jahanzeb Jamaldini, Ahmad Khan, Sabir Shah, Fida Muhammad, Gyan Chand, Additional Communications Secretary Tariq Bakhsh, PEC chairman, NHA members and other officials.

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