August 5: The trend of government agencies purchasing logistics by disregarding the public procurement laws and competitive bidding process is flourishing in the recent days.
The government’s audit reports clearly indicates that ministry of physical infrastructure, urban development ministry, energy ministry and ministry of water resource and their subordinate units have been flouting financial fair play during the procurement process.
Section 8 (2) of the Public Procurement Act 2063 mentions that government bodies cannot purchase logistics by limiting the number of competitors and dividing the deal into smaller parts. But the government bodies have been found making procurements by disregarding this legal provision.
The 57th annual report of the Office of the Auditor General states that the government made purchase of logistics and signed deals for infrastructure development worth Rs 72.13 billion without any competitive bidding process within one-year period. Altogether 35 government agencies were involved in such shady deals ranging from construction of government buildings, maintenance and repair, procurement of logistics among others.
As per the Public Procurement Act, the government has to issue tender bids for any purchase above Rs 2 million. However, the government agencies were found making purchase of less than Rs 2 million multiple times, the report states.
Altogether 116 government agencies were found purchasing logistics worth Rs 2.5 billion without any competitive bids, the 56th annual report says. Such practice was limited to deals worth Rs 1.4 billion in the previous year, says the 55th annual report.