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ISLAMABAD: The Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) has directed all the ministries and organizations to constitute Grievance Redressal Committees (GRCs) to address the grievances of bidders.

In a letter to all the Secretaries of ministries and heads of public sector organisations, PPRA said that it has observed with serious concerns that various procuring agencies do not constitute the GRCs in accordance with letter and spirit of the provision of sub-rule (1) of Rule 48 of Public Procurement Rules, 2004.

The provision is reproduced is as follows: “the procuring agency shall constitute a committee comprising of odd number of persons, with necessary powers and authorizations, to address the complaints of bidders that may occur prior to the entry into force of the procurement contract.”

According to PPRA, the purpose of the formation of GRC is to provide the prospective/ participant bidders an efficacious remedy from the very beginning of the procurement process regarding addressing of the complaints (against the eligibility parameters, evaluation criteria or any other terms and conditions prescribed in the bidding documents if found contrary to the regulatory framework as referred in sub-rule 2 of the same rule), as well as, addressing the grievances raised after issuance of technical and final evaluation reports (as referred in other sub-rules).

Engineer Muhammad Zubair, Director General (M&E), in his letter said that to achieve the above referred objective, it is essential that the GRC should be constituted well in advance of the procurement process as an efficacious remedy for resolution of such complaints and grievances, and hence the members of the GRCs should have the essential expertise of procurement management, related technical discipline (as per the practices of that trade), as well as, understanding of the legal aspects of the procurement.

Further, the GRC should be empowered enough to take independent decisions either to fully/ partially maintain or set aside the decision of the Procurement Evaluation Committee without being influenced by such committee or its members or the Principal Accounting Officer. In case of unavailability of senior officials/ experts within the procuring agency having such requisite expertise and integrity, the procuring agency is required to formulate the GRC by borrowing the officials from some other Ministries, Divisions, Departments or Organizations, etc. In case the same procuring agency has to make different category/ nature of procurements, more than one GRC should be constituted considering the respective category/ nature of procurements.

PPRA argued that instructions are being issued in terms of the provision of Section 5(1) of the PPRA Ordinance, and should be implemented in true letter and spirit. Moreover, the procuring agencies are required to immediately formulate the GRCs for respective procurements in accordance with instructions and communicate to the Authority within a fortnight of issuance of these instructions.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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