There should be greater transparency and accountability in the process of Defence Procurement, in as much as the vendors should be apprised of the reason for withdrawal of proposals or rejection of proposals- CIC
During the hearing on 31/08/2017, the Commission stated that that there should be greater transparency and accountability in the process of Defence Procurement, in as much as the vendors should be apprised of the reason for withdrawal of proposals or rejection of proposals.
The earlier Appeal in this regard and the in the present case (S_C_Sharma_171292) reflected on the lack of any such mechanism in place which leaves the vendors aggrieved and wanting for information from all channels. Although, RTI Act allows for the exemption of Section 8 (1)(d) to deny the information, but as a common proposition, more and more disclosure should be encouraged in such cases to avoid casting aspersions on the procurement process.
Reason for withdrawal of RFP
What is alarming is the fact that para 37 of DPP, 2011 itself stipulates that
compliance or otherwise, vis-a-vis the RFP parameters, would be specifically communicated to all vendors at the trial location itself.
Despite this, when cases such as these come up wherein, it is brought on record that vendors are completely oblivious to the reasons for withdrawal of RFP, it raises a reasonable doubt that policy guidelines are being flouted.
The commission further recorded that “The need for transparency is even more crucial in present times when several scams and kickbacks are being reported in public domain questioning the credibility of procurement processes undertaken by the Ministry of Defence.”
Appellant stated that he is aggrieved with the denial of information and wanted that the records which are exempt under Section 8(1)(d) be severed and information sought be provided to him limited to his proposal. He also contended that as such the staff evaluation will entail no trade secret or intellectual prospects. He also relied on para 37 of Defence Procurement Policy (DPP), 2011 wherein it is mandated that “after each stage of trial, debriefing of vendors carried in a common meeting (wherever feasible) as regards performance of their equipment. Compliance or otherwise, vis-a-vis the RFP parameters, would be specifically communicated to all the vendors at the trial location itself.” It is his contention that none of these have been followed in his case, and in general also, that is to say that the vendors are entitled to know the reasons for withdrawal of Request For Proposal (RFP), however the same is not being conveyed to them. It is in this context he has desired to inspect and take copies of the staff evaluation.
Though the commission upheld the decision of CPIO not to reveal the information, it issued the advisory to Ministry of Defence. Do you have anything to add to the story above. Post below. Participate in our forum discussions here!