Install CCTV cameras in schools
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) on Monday awarded the contract of installing close circuit television (CCTV) cameras in educational institutions to a lone bidder.
A total of four companies participated in the bidding process for the over Rs40 million project. However, three of the firms were disqualified due to incomplete documents.
And the remaining company was awarded the contract against a bid of Rs130,200 per school without any healthy competition. The company is supposed to install four CCTV cameras, one UPS, one LCD and one networking video recorder in each school by the end of this month.
Interestingly, the three companies – MS System, Geo Tech and Mansha Brother – were declared ineligible for not having valid registrations from the Pakistan Engineer Council (PEC).
“If out of the total four, three companies have been disqualified, it means there is no competition as per the spirit of the Public Procurement Regulatory Rules (PPRR). Under such circumstances, instead of awarding the contract to the lone eligible company, the FDE should go for re-tendering,” said Supreme Court lawyer Syed Nayyab Gardezi.
“Before finalising the process, the bids of all the companies should have been opened for making at least a comparison in prices but I don’t know why the FDE didn’t open our bids,” said one of the bidders.
He said though the FDE had the right to reject or accept the bids, it made no sense that one company was awarded the contract without any competition.
When contacted, FDE’s director finance Tahir Mustafa Khosa, who supervised the bidding process, claimed that the contract was awarded in a transparent manner.
“Four companies participated in the bidding but three of them could not provide the required documents. As a result, we didn’t open their sealed bids.” H claimed that the Public Procurement Regulatory Rules allowed the FDE to award the contract to the lone eligible bidder.
Mr Khosa said a committee would share the finding of the proceedings with the higher authorities of the FDE and the Capital Administration and Development Division, which were the competent authority to take a final decision.
“According to our opinion and recommendation, the tender goes in favour of the single company. However, in case a need arises, we can think for the re-tendering,” he said.
The tender was called for supply, installation and commissioning of CCTV surveillance in 391 educational institutions.
However, now the number of institutions is being reduced. “We are considering reducing the number of schools to focus only on city areas,” Mr Khosa said.
Another official of the FDE said there were dozens of schools without boundary walls so the installation of CCTV cameras in such institutions would be a useless exercise.
“As a first priority, we will focus on the city areas and sensitive schools and colleges and then go for the remaining institutions,” the official said.
It may be noted that the tender was initially supposed to be reopened on April 20 but the FDE officials delayed the process.
Later, a corrigendum was issued fixing May 4 for the reopening of the bids. On Monday, the one eligible bid was reopened at the conference room of the FDE in the presence of all the bidders.