Overview & Organogram
Public procurement management in Punjab like in most developing countries needs a lot improvement. Laws, Rules and Regulations are non-existent, inadequately implemented or enforced. Capacity and morale of the work force is low whereas accountability and transparency on need basis. Public procurement practitioners face challenges from both external and internal environment. The former include legal, political, economic and business and socio-cultural environments. The later is related to three factors: People who make procurements decisions, proceedure which provide a guidance to the practitioners; and controls which ensures probity, transparency and accountability. In order to deal effectively with the challenges an adequate and independent audit mechanism should be formed that manages to balance between the financial and performance audit.
In Pakistan current procurement regime started functioning in 2002 when Government of Pakistan created PPRA at Federal level through a presidential ordinance. The system was strengthened by adding Public Procurement Rules 2004 and Public Procurement Regulations 2008. The Punjab Province adopted the system in 2007 through an ordinance which was under the same nomenclature was converted into an Act 2009. Punjab Procurement Rules 2009 (PPR-09) were also notified in the same year to beef-up the procurement system in the province. The enforcement of Law / Rules however remained passive due to absence of proper office of Punjab Procurement Regulatory Authority. The enforcement of any Law / Rule require its proper awareness and orientation. In order to achieve an extensive capacity building, a programme has been launched ambitting all the Public Sector Organizations down to Town Municipal Administration level. A high power committee under the Chairpersonship of Additional Chief Secretary, Punjab has been constituted to revisit the Public Procurement Laws / Rules so as to bring them inconformity with the Public Sector Organizaion’s Requirements without astraying from the International best practices. Four new procurement related Rules / Documents such as Procurement Regulations, Code of Ethics for Public Procurement, Public Procurement Checklist, Public Procurement Consultancy Service Rules, Draft Standard Bidding Document and Draft Contract Agreement are under consideration with the forum (Planning & Development Department).
Increased expenditure and quantum of procurement has created an opportunity for corruption and waste public procurement. In order to vitiate and minimize the chances of the malpractices, the proposed Rules and Regulations have been drafted. The main focus of these Laws would be to ensure transparency and accountability as these are the key inducement to individual and instructional probity, a key deterrent to collusion and corruption, and a key pre-requisite for procurement credibility. The salient features of the current procurement system include a regulatory body mandated to monitor the public procurement activities, legal framework elaborating a mechanism as well as procedure on public acquisition of goods, works and services by the public sector enterprises, establishment of grievance redressal / appeal mechanism exclusively for settlement of complaints on the contract management issue, a mechanism for wide dissemination of Government policy decision, procurement opportunities and results of evaluation exercises for award of contracts and regulatory arrangements for ensuring access to information on the public procurement system.
The procurement regime in Punjab Province has undergone three stages evolution. Prior to 1985 the public sector procurement was conducted by the Procurement Wing of Industries Department. Due to increasing quantum of procurement the setup had gone to almost a stale level which necessitated to shift to decentralize mode. Allowing for the grown requirements the Punjab Government through purchase manual in 1985 made a paradigm shift from centralized mode of procurement to decentralized mode of procurement system. The Public Sector Organization were allowed to make their purchases at their own level through their purchase committees headed by Administrative Secretaries of the Department or head of the Organization. The purchase manual was revised in 1988 in order to conform to the requirements, however lacked in transparent procurement procedures which thwart genuine business, no grievance redressal mechanism, bid negotiation lead to kick-back negotiation as it discouraged bidders to quote their best price etc. In order to vitiate the ills existing in the procurement system and to achieve best value for money, efficiency, transparency, accountability, fair competition and good governance, new procurement system has been brought in by promulgating PPRA Act and Rules 2009. The new system fully respond to the international best practices. There is a uniformity in the procurement system at Federal and Provincial level.