Understanding Important PPRA Rules 2004: A Comprehensive Guide for Procurement Officers and Bidders in Pakistan

Public Procurement Regulatory Authority, PPRA Rules 2004 are enforced in practice and made mandatory to be followed by all procuring authorities under the Federal government of Pakistan for procurement of goods or services, etc. The purposes of PPRA Rules are to maintain transparent and fair procurement and get the most valued offers by the bidder.

These rules are well-versed and have clearly defined each element involved in the procurement procedure. Some of the most important PPRA rules that every procurement officer and bidder shall know are given below. The purpose is to highlight the importance of understanding PPRA rules for both parties involved in the procurement process.

Applicability: PPRA rules apply to all federal government authorities whether they are procuring in Pakistan or outside.

Specification Guidelines: The procurement agency is not allowed to mention any brand name, model name, etc. to avoid unfair bidding or favor over other bidders. The agency will specify items through various specifications/parameters such as strength, color, thickness, etc. In case the agency is unable to clarify items through parameters they are allowed to use “or equivalent” words with any brand or model name.

Advertisement: If procurement values from 100,000 to 500,000 PKR the agency will float a request for quotation (RFP) to at least three (03) bidders through its website for open competition without adopting a proper bidding procedure. Procurement value over 500,000 to 3,000,000 PKR, the notice shall be advertised on the agency website and print media (if deemed necessary) and the agency shall adopt a proper bidding procedure. However, If the procurement value exceeds 3,000,000 PKR, the procurement agency, while adopting the proper bidding procedure, will advertise the notice through its website and wide circulation print media and shall appear in at least two national dailies, one in Urdu and another in English. This rule is exempted with prior approval in case of National Security or disclosure of information. All other advertisements such as the extension of time for bid shall be done similarly.

Response Time: The response time to the bidder for national competitive bidding (NCB) shall be a minimum of 15 days while it is a minimum of 30 days for international competitive bidding (ICB) from the date of first publication except in emergencies.

Framework Duration: The maximum duration for an open framework with selected bidders shall not exceed three years while it shall be a maximum of one year for a closed framework agreement.

Bid Security: The bid security may be fixed or variable which in any case shall not exceed 5% of the bid value. In case of no-bid security, the bidder shall submit a bid-securing declaration in the prescribed format by the authority.

Evaluation: The final evaluation report shall be issued at least 15 days before the award of the contract with proper justification of acceptance or rejection of the bid. Similarly, the technical proposal evaluation report shall be issued before the opening of the financial proposal.

Payment: The vendor payment shall be made within the given timeline as per contract condition, which shall not exceed thirty (30) days.

The final taking-over certificate to the vendor shall be issued within thirty (30) days upon successful completion of defect liability to enable the vendor to submit the final bill. In case of defect or any maintenance, a defect liability certificate shall be issued within thirty days of the expiry of said period and payment shall be made to the vendor within the given timeline as per contract, which shall not exceed 60 days. Any unsettled claim shall be resolved through arbitration.

Record Maintenance: All procurement agencies shall maintain records for a minimum of five (05) years. The procurement agency shall make all evaluation reports and contract award records public. The publication is exempted in case of public interest information disclosure with prior approval of the authority.

Grievance Redressal: To handle complaints, the procurement agency must set up a Grievance Redressal Committee (GRC). Should there be a complaint, the bidder must forward it to GRC no later than 07 days following the announcement of the technical evaluation and 05 days following the release of the final evaluation report. Upon complaint, GRC shall suspend further procurement proceedings and GRC shall investigate and decide within 10 ten of its receipt. If a bidder is not satisfied with the GRC decision, the bidder may submit an appeal along with a fee to PPRA within 30 days of receipt of the GRC decision. The decision of PPRA shall be considered as final.

The above rules are applicable under common circumstances. Consult detailed rules for special conditions. Moreover, this blog answers the below FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How are grievances addressed under PPRA Rules?

Under the PPRA Rules, grievances are addressed through a structured process. Any bidder with a complaint must submit it to the Grievance Redressal Committee (GRC) within specific timelines: within 7 days of the announcement of technical evaluation and within 5 days after the issuance of the final evaluation report. The GRC suspends further proceedings, investigates the complaint within 10 days of receipt, and decides on it. If dissatisfied, the bidder can appeal to the PPRA within 30 days of the GRC decision.

What are the consequences of not following the PPRA Rules in Pakistan?

The PPRA Rules have several penalties in Pakistan for violating them. Noncompliance may result in legal consequences, the termination of procurement procedures, or even the disqualification of bids. Additionally, it can be challenging to negotiate for the best price on the goods or services that are bought.

Are there any exceptions to the bidding procedures outlined in the PPRA Rules?

Yes, as stated in the PPRA Rules, there are exceptions with prior approval from PPRA. The normal bidding processes may be waived, specifically, in situations involving national security or information disclosure.

How can a bidder appeal a decision made by the Grievance Redressal Committee (GRC)?

Yes, there are precise deadlines for resolving grievances specified in the PPRA Rules. Within ten days of receiving a complaint, the Grievance Redressal Committee (GRC) is required to look into it and make a decision. Furthermore, an appeal must be submitted to the PPRA through the appeals process within 30 days of the GRC decision being received.

Are there any specific timelines for the resolution of grievances under the PPRA Rules?

Yes, there are precise deadlines for resolving grievances specified in the PPRA Rules. Within ten days of receiving a complaint, the Grievance Redressal Committee (GRC) is required to look into it and make a decision. Furthermore, an appeal must be submitted to the PPRA through the appeals process within 30 days of the GRC decision being received.

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