Officers to face stern action if tenders for works fail due to unrealistic specifications

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Follow discipline in making payments for completed projects: CS

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, July 14: As several projects and works in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir have failed to take off due to failure of tenders on account of unrealistic specifications, the Government has made it clear that in future officers who are found to have shown negligence will face stern action.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta recently held detailed discussion with all the Administrative Secretaries on various aspects of tendering the works and projects and making of payments for the completed ones.
In the meeting, it came to the fore that several contracts have failed because specifications framed in the bids were not available or clearly mentioned as a result of which many projects and works failed to take off in the specified time-frame, sources informed.
Impressing upon framing of realistic specifications while contracting a work/project, the Chief Secretary has directed that the tenders have to be framed with due diligence and no unrealistic specifications should be made part of the tender.
“Any failure of tender on account of having unrealistic specifications should be audited and officers who are found to have shown negligence while framing the tenders would be proceeded against”, he made it clear in the meeting. Moreover, he has emphasized the importance of contract management in good governance and asked all the Administrative Secretaries to closely monitor contract management in their respective departments.
Further, the Chief Secretary has impressed upon the Administrative Departments to follow a discipline in the payment of bills against works/projects completed and ensure that the cases are timely processed for payments.
This direction was passed on the observation that in certain works/projects, a considerable time has lapsed in disbursement and consequently sanction of payment became difficult, sources informed.
“Moreover, there are numerous instances of Government agencies violating the norms while floating e-tenders despite being aware of uniform standard terms and conditions laid down in General Financial Rules and this is leading to unnecessary litigations”, sources said.
Even the fund positions in certain cases have been shown as ‘demanded’ which is not in consonance with the General Financial Rules as no work can be initiated without budgetary provision, Administrative Approval and Technical Sanction, they further said.
Dr Mehta, who is also Financial Commissioner Finance, has already impressed upon all the executing agencies to strictly follow norms while inviting tenders and vague terms and conditions shall not be included in the tender documents.
“The tender documents should be in conformity with the provisions of the General Financial Rules and Procurement Guidelines of the Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure, Government of India”, sources said quoting the standing instructions of the Government, adding “tender documents are required to be accessible throughout the relevant period and if there is any unnecessary difficulty in downloading the documents it should be brought to the notice of the department concerned for necessary action”.
All the departments have been explicitly conveyed that any violation of these instructions will be construed as irregularity and action as warranted under Rules shall be initiated against the delinquent officer(s) including concerned Drawing and Disbursing Officers (DDOs).
Moreover, all the Administrative Secretaries have already been directed to periodically review the status of tendering procedures followed by the executing agencies to see whether the same is as provided in the General Financial Rules of the Government of India.
“Director Finance and Financial Advisor-cum-Chief Accounts Officers in the respective Administrative Departments are required to oversee whether the tendering procedure is followed as provided in the General Financial Rules”, sources said, adding “it has been directed that any deviation in this regard shall be reported to the Finance Department within shortest possible time so that necessary action is taken against the erring officers”.