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ISLAMABAD: The federal government is likely to exempt direct contracting between Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination (NHSR&C) and Nadra for Sehat Sahulat Programme (SSP) from PPRA Ordinance 2002 for five years.

The NHSR&C provides free of cost indoor healthcare services to the poor and marginalized families through health insurance under the Sehat Sahulat Programme.

The Ministry of NHSR&C, in 2016, contracted out services to Nadra through direct contracting on the basis of exemption granted under Section 21 of the PPRA Ordinance, 2002.

As SSP is expanding its coverage by adding new districts and more families, the Ministry of NHSR&C has requested exemption under section 21 of the PPRA Ordinance, 2002 to extend the agreement with Nadra for a further five years. Accordingly, the case was presented before PPRA Board.

The PPRA Board, in its 42nd meeting held on September 14, 2020, recommended exemption to the Ministry of NHSR&C, under Section 21 of the PPRA Ordinance, 2002. The decision of PPRA Board is as follows: “The Board unanimously agreed to recommend the Federal Government to allow Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination direct contracting for the period of five years with Nadra for; (i) identification of marginalized and vulnerable families to provide them free of cost health insurance from health care facilities on panel; (ii) biometric verification; and (iii) authentication of family composition, etc. by utilizing an already developed Central Management Information System (CMIS), subject to the following conditions: (a) price charged by the Nadra shall be the actual cost incurred for undertaking the job; (b) the procurement shall be subject to post procurement review by the Authority and; (c) meanwhile, Nadra shall also devise its policies and regulations for elaborating the terms, due security and due secrecy and necessary safeguards for protection and confidentiality of data.

Nadra has stated that, as per the recommendation of PPRA Board as they have already developed a comprehensive policy and guidelines for security, secrecy and confidentiality of the data, Nadra has a dedicated information security team working vigilantly for safeguarding Nadra database.

Section 21of the PPRA Ordinance, 2002 stipulates that “the Authority may, for to be recorded in writing, recommend to the Federal Government that the procurement of an object or class of objects in the national interest be exempted from the operation of this Ordinance or any rule or regulation made thereunder or any other law regulating public procurement and the Federal Government on such recommendations shall exempt the objects or class of objects from the operation of the laws and rules and regulations made thereunder.”

The Cabinet Division proposed that the Federal Government may grant exemption to the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination (NHSR&C) for direct contracting with Nadra for a period of five years.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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