Pre-Qualification Criteria – JV / Consortium
5.0 Brief Introduction:
MDL floated an emergency service tender. In the tender, Pre-Qualification criteria is not clear with respect to Joint Venture(JV)/Consortium.
An emergency tender was floated forService items. Two offers were received. In the first instance offer of M/s ‘A’ was considered as technically suitable by TNC and approval obtained from Competent Authority for opening of their price bid. The offer of M/s ‘B’ was rejected by TNC due to the following reasons;
(a) Non submission of required pre-qualification documents as per the pre-qualification criteria indicated in the tender. Subsequently, on repeated opportunities provided by TNC, M/s Submitted documents (some of them were in the name of M/s C) in fulfilment of pre-qualification criteria. In fact, M/s B and M/s C formed a consortium (through an agreement) led by M/s B.
(b) Since the tender has no clause regarding acceptance of offers received form JV or Consortium firms, the TNC rejected the offer of M/s B (who formed consortium with M/s C) Subsequently, based on the representation of M/s B and legal opinion rendered by legal department, the offer of M/s B was re-considered by TNC and declared as Technically suitable and price was opened for M/s A & M/s B. Since the offer of M/s B was lowest(L1). Order was placed on them.
Absence of a clause in tender condition/documents regarding “Acceptance/Rejection of offers from JV or Consortium firms” has given a scope of change of stand by TNC and CFA. Further it is also observed that, the tender was an emergency one and bids of those firms who failed to meet PQC and submit the required documents should have been rejected either on the spot or at the most by providing one opportunity. Number of opportunities were provided to the firms to submit the essential documents. Further the document submitted in support of past experience was not submitted. Firm was given another chance to submit the work done certificate(WDC). Further TNC while evaluating the offer of M/s B has not recorded any justification for considering a vital document(WDC) which was generated/issued after closing date of tender.
(c) Tender was floated under emergency requirement however it took almost six months’ time to place the order after initiating the Purchase Requisition. It is very clear from the above that sense of emergency was not visible in tendering process.
The following Systemic Improvements were suggested by Vigilance Department and a memorandum to this effect was issued by Functional Director for compliance by all concerned.
(i) The Procurement Requisition(PR) should be complete in all respects, including the supporting documents so that the Commercial Department can initiate tendering process immediately.
(ii) While processing emergency requirement, it should be ensured by all concerned that the entire tendering process should be on priority basis and sense of urgency should be visible in whole procurement process.
(iii) A suitable clause in tender condition/documents regarding “Accepting/Rejection of offers from JV or Consortium firms should be clearly indicated in the tender with suitable pre-qualification criteria.
(iv) Legal opinion should be sought indicating the entire facts/background of the issue and referring the relevant rules/clause of purchase manual/public procurement policy etc. Legal advice obtained on any commercial issue should be accepted in line with guidelines/polices/procedure of public procurement.
(v) Similar work should be defined clearly in PR and subsequently in tender document to avoid any confusion at post tender stage.
5.3 Impact and Benefits:
Lead-time of the procurement process may minimize by adopting above systemic improvements and also maintaining transparency, zero ambiguity in the tendering process.