MULTAN: A committee probing into the violations of the Punjab Procurement Regulatory Authority Rules of 2014 (PPRA) by the management of the Multan Waste Management Company (MWMC) has forwarded their recommendations to the services secretary. The top MWMC management is accused of failing to enforce contract for the hiring of 300 sanitary workers through a third party.

According to the charge sheet copy, inefficiency, misconduct and irregularities were committed in the hiring of workers while violating several rules.

The inquiry committee, headed by the additional secretary of the local government and community development, south Punjab, was constituted on the direction of the local government and community development secretary on April 21.

Sources said that the case has been forwarded to the services secretary for action against the chief executive officer (CEO).

The contract was signed on April 11 which was enforced on March 6.

The company’s board of directors in July last decided to hire 300 sanitary workers through a third party. The opening of the bids to award the contract was held on Sept 27 in which eight firms participated. Being the lowest bidder in the process, Babar and Umar Private Limited was handed over the acceptance letter and the firm was asked to submit the performance security of Rs9.3 million against the total contract amount of Rs99.3 million.

Sources said the MWMC administration refused to accept the performance security in terms of bank guarantee which, according to the Punjab Procurement Rules of 2014, is acceptable and demanded that security be submitted through a payment order.

They said that in fact the administration and the union of the company were pressurising the contractor to accommodate both actual and fictitious people recommended by them and the firm was forced to start working from Feb 1 without signing the contract while during the first month, not more than 150 workers joined the duty.

They said when the company agreed to sign the contract in the second week of April, the contractor was asked to submit performance security which was submitted and the very next day, the contract was signed; however, the contractor demanded the wages/bills of the workers from the date he was asked to start work (Feb 1), while the administration was unable to accommodate [making the payment before the signing of contract].

They said over the refusal from the administration, the contractor threatened to lodge a complaint about “unjustified” demands by some officials/officers of the company. After negotiations, it was decided that the payments would be made from March instead of February.

According to Rule No 56 of the PPRA Rules of 2014, ‘... where needed and clearly expressed in the bidding documents, the procuring agency shall require the successful bidder to furnish a performance guarantee which shall not exceed 10 percent of the contract amount’ and Rule No 63 (C) states ‘where the coming into force of a contract is contingent upon fulfilment of a certain condition or conditions, the contract shall take effect from the date whereas such fulfilment takes place’ while Rule No 69 states ‘any violation of these rules shall be treated as mis-procurement’.

MWMC Managing Director Fakharul Islam Dogar says an application was submitted by the contractor with a cheque while the Cash Deposit Receipt of bid security was also deposited with the company that’s why it was decided that the payments will be made one month prior to the signing of the contract.

Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2021

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