Bidders reject criteria for outsourcing rail freight operations – Journal

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LAHORE: Most of the participating companies described the tendering process for the outsourcing of commercial freight train operations by Pakistan Railways (PR) to be unfair.

Rejecting the evaluation process, the bidders urged the public relations authorities to review the facts, tender documents, tariffs and requests for proposals (RFPs) and ensure merit upon award projects to eligible companies.

“Ten of the 13 bidders rejected the bid evaluation criteria, decisions initiated in February and completed in August. After the whole process lasted almost six months, the typical bureaucratic and anti-private sector culture and favoritism within the PR, which also caused its destruction, finally worked, ”lamented one. official source during a conversation with Dawn on Friday.

According to a letter written by one of the companies to the chairman of the PR grievance committee, he worked on a detailed plan and submitted his bid to ensure the highest return per wagon per year “as per requirements. of the RFP document.

“However, to our disbelief, we received a letter from the Office of the Chief Marketing Officer on August 31st advising us of the non-acceptance of our” financial offer “based on our proposed bid rates being lower than the existing notified rates. PR for the destinations for which we submitted our offer, ”reads the letter.

He characterized the reason as unjustified, saying the railways had neither provided an exhaustive list of existing notified tariffs for all destinations in the RFP, nor given instructions in the RFP directing all interested parties to ” use reference rates for destinations as a “reserve price” for the delivery of offers.

On the contrary, the bidding instructions and, more specifically, the Financial Proposal Submission Note on Multiple Train Options stated unambiguously that “the bid would be evaluated on the basis of the highest yield by wagon per year subject to the maximum loading and unloading capacity. meters ”. Even in the minutes of the pre-bid meetings, there was no reference to the rate.

The call for tenders clearly establishes that the tenderer with the highest yield per wagon per year will be declared successful. The imposition of any new criteria or requirements at this stage which restrict a tenderer’s participation is therefore considered unfair and detrimental.

Another company also wrote a letter, stating: “We are shocked at your decision as it is extremely important to understand that the tender guarantees a guaranteed annual income for PR whether the wagon is partially or fully loaded (up to ‘at the amount provided for in the RFP), at the time stipulated by PR. Profits mean that PR is guaranteed “full profit” even when a lower volume is loaded onto a railcar. Therefore, any comparison with the rates per tonne or per tonne-kilometer becomes speculative, arbitrary and in bad faith.

“It is extremely regrettable, illegal, discriminatory and arbitrary that PR, while clearly and repeatedly declaring in the RFP” the highest yield per wagon per year “as a criterion for awarding the offer, after the offer arbitrarily added a new evaluation standard to reject our offer. ”

Other companies also submitted letters of complaint to the committee, declaring that the tendering process was illegal because it violated the rules of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority.

When contacted, the chairman of public relations, Dr Habibur Rehman Gilani, said the bidding process had been completed by an evaluation committee.

Posted in Dawn, le 18 September 2021


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