Infrastructure sector urges government to implement amended General Financial Rules (GFR) on selection of bidders for award of various works

The infrastructure industry in the country has urged the government to implement its amended policy of doing away with age old system of procurement and awarding works on basis of at Least cost of L1 as most of the concerned ministries and departments have still not implemented it .

Prime minister office note of the issue has forwarded the IBC request to department of Expenditure to monitor and report back to PMO about implementation of the amended GFR  “The government amended the General Financial Rules (GFR) vide it’s order No. 1/1/2021-PPD dated 29th October, 2021 bringing in requisite change that it was no longer necessary to award work at least cost nor it was necessary to have the minimum of two quotes to compare rates. Works can now be awarded at lowest workable rates and not at the Least cost. It can be awarded on a single quotation also. This applies to all the three procurements i.e. procurement of Consultants, Contractors and Goods.” Said Mr K K Kapila former president Indian Buildings Congress (IBC) and president emeritus International Road Federation (IRF) .

“According to the revised guidelines, L1 or Least Cost Selection Method, will no longer be the only tendering format for selecting bidders for executing projects. L1 was so far the preferred method used by ministries, public agencies and public sector undertakings (PSUs) for selecting lowest bidders to carry out standards of routine works. The guidelines issued by the Department of Expenditure’s Public Procurement division  now allowed the selection of bidders for works and non-consultancy services through alternative procurement methods like the Quality-cum-Cost Based Selection (QCBS).”Mr Kapila said .

“In the L1 system, a bidder is selected only on the basis of the lowest cost committed to complete the work. There is no weightage for technical score in the final evaluation and the responsive technically qualified proposal with the lowest evaluated cost is selected. Unlike L1, the new amened policy evaluates a bidder based on a combination of technical and quality scores. However, the maximum weightage for non-financial parameters not exceeding 30 per cent.” He added .

“The various ministries including Ministry of Urban and housing development, Ministry of Road transport and Highways and other ministries have till date not implemented the new rules and adopted the amended tendering policy soon for the benefit of the infrastructure industry “ Mr Kapila said.

“Over a year and half has passed but there is no implementation on ground. This defeats the very purpose of bringing about improvement in procurement mechanism which has remained on paper only and is getting buried under the weight of bureaucracy.” He added.