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ISLAMABAD: The Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) has enhanced financial limit of ministries from Rs 3 million to Rs 6 million to hire consultants for six months.

Director General, Monitoring and Enforcement (M&E), circulated the minutes of 58th Board meeting to the members for views/comments and after receipt of no comments, the approved version was circulated to all the members.

According to the minutes, financial limit for procurement has been enhanced to Rs 6 million from Rs 3.0 million. However, as far as selection of short-term job specific consultant is concerned, it has been covered in the new definition of Most-Advantageous Bidder which allows qualification or qualification and cost-based selection.

In this regard, an explanation has already been issued by the PPRA Management, notably that qualification based technique is normally used worldwide for hiring individual consultants. Their selection is based on the basis of their academic qualification, expertise, capacity and capability to perform the particular assignment for which he is being hired. The candidate obtaining highest marks shall be treated as highest ranked.

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Secretary Communications inquired whether the clause would be applicable in case of rehiring or extension of the same consultant for more than six months. DG (M&E) explained that extension can be granted to the extent of 15% of the contract value in terms of Rule 42(c)(iv) as repeat order.

Secretary Industries and Production, opined that hiring consultancy for six months at the cost of Rs 6 million @ average Rs.1 million per month justifies the quality and scope of work. Hannan Ikram, Private Member endorsed the view of Secretary Industries & Production and said that rehiring the same consultant would question the scope, quality and cost of the consultant hired in the first place. Moreover, he further proposed that the government should develop a mechanism to proactively review the limits and revise them on a regular basis if and when needed.

DG M&E) explained that even after the amendment, the relaxation will be to the extent of advertisement in the print media, however, the same process of competition will be followed through placing the advertisement on the electronic media including the PPRA website.

After detailed discussion, the Board approved amending the financial limit of Rule-12 of Public Procurement Rules, 2004 from “over Rs 3 million to over Rs 6 million” and directed to forward the amendment to Law Division through Cabinet Division for approval of the federal government.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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