THIS is apropos the letter ‘LNG import’ (Jan 31). It is interesting to read that the late submittal of bid — a clear violation of PPRA rules and RFP terms — is suggested as a minor deviation. Despite protests, the bid was received (not accepted) for decision by the SSGC on its acceptability.
The SSGC violated rules and should not have accepted a 19-minute bid. All who submitted public bids are aware of this policy. If the SSGC management had stepped in and taken a decision immediately, no controversy would have arisen. However, that did not happen.
The SSGC BoD should then have — as per Rules 28 and 30 of PPRA Rules 2004, and there being consensus among legal experts that the bids of GEI and PGPL are liable to be rejected if strict adherence of PPRA Rules 2004 and RFP terms are to be ensured — judiciously decided to first reject acceptance of the late bid immediately and the second bid after necessary deliberation and legal review as is subsequently done, and it should have continued with the process of reviewing the third bid. No consent is required from any of the three bidders.
The second round (already tendered) provides an opportunity to all unsuccessful bidders to re-bid. We fully agree that the SSGC and the government, in the interest of fairness and transparency, should not accept any deviations nor condone rules.
Based on PPRA rules and the bidding procedure of a single bid to envelope the process stated in the RFP, the most responsive and not the lowest bid is to be accepted.
At the ECC meeting, the PPRA representative agreed with our contention, as reported by Dawn. Therefore, to suggest that all the bids received may be rejected, under Rule 33 of PPRA Rules, 2004, as acceptance by the SSGC of one bid alone would be viewed as anti-competitive is incorrect.
Claiming that the third bid also has deviations is interesting, especially when the technical proposal has not been opened/reviewed by the SSGCL nor stated in any public statement or in the ECC summary.
Finally, the ETPL continues to commend MP&NR and the SSGC on bringing the process to the bidding stage. But that does not mean it condones the deviations and the subsequent actions taken by them.
We had also agreed to continue the process, subject to the PGPL and GEIH signing the indemnity and to facilitate the continuity of the process by the SSGC, as what is important is that the country is perceived as being serious in importing LNG and it would ensure a fair process.