Reconstruction works basantapur durbar damages by earthquakeKathmandu, February 2 If a guideline prepared by the government is approved, the National Authority for Reconstruction (NAR) will be able to execute post-earthquake reconstruction works of up to Rs five million without pursuing the lengthy bidding process. This is one of the highlights of the draft Public Procurement Work Procedure for Post-Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation framed by a committee headed by Kamal Shali Ghimire, secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM). “The draft work procedure has already been approved by the NAR and forwarded to the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs,” OPMCM Joint Secretary Ramesh Dhakal, one of the committee members, told The Himalayan Times. “Once the ministry endorses it, the draft will be forwarded to the Cabinet for final approval.” The work procedure, according to Dhakal, has simplified some of the procedures and processes related to public procurement to ensure post-quake reconstruction and rehabilitation works are not delayed. “These changes, which will strictly apply for earthquake-related reconstruction and rehabilitation, will supersede the provisions laid in the Public Procurement Act,” Dhakal said, adding, “The work procedure, however, has not deviated from the fundamental values and principles of the Act.” If the work procedure is endorsed by the Cabinet, the NAR will not have to pursue bidding if the cost of goods and consultancy services being procured is up to Rs 2.5 million. Similarly, bidding will not be required for construction works of up to Rs five million. The proposed changes will pave the way for NAR to procure goods and services of up to Rs 2.5 million and execute construction works of up to Rs five million by seeking sealed quotations from interested parties. At present, procurement of goods and services, and construction works of up to Rs one million does not require bidding. The work procedure has also proposed to allow NAR to make direct purchase of goods worth Rs 700,000 and services worth Rs 500,000, and make direct payment for construction works of up to Rs two million. At present, the ceiling for direct procurement of goods and services and direct payment for construction-related activities stands at Rs 150,000. “We hope these changes will shorten the procurement process, expediting implementation of reconstruction and rehabilitation works,” Dhakal said. The work procedure has also proposed to reduce deadline for submission of documents for national- and international-level bidding to 15 and 30 days, respectively, from existing 30 days and 45 days. If the bidding process has to be restarted all over again, parties will be given seven days and 15 days to submit documents for national- and international-level bidding, respectively. “However, the government holds the right to terminate the contract if it is not satisfied with the work of contractors or if contractors delay project implementation,” Dhakal said. “Also, performance bond of contractors will be forfeited if they fail to complete works on time or if they leave the projects midway.” The draft work procedure has also laid a provision that provides the leeway to NAR to initiate procurement process without preparing cost estimates for goods and services worth up to Rs 100,000. However, this provision will not apply for construction works. Currently, procurement of up to Rs 25,000 does not require cost estimates. “Also, procurement plans need not be framed if the value of procurement is up to Rs five million,” Dhakal said. Among others, the draft work procedure has given the right to NAR to procure goods and services worth up to Rs 25,000 from individual, organisation or company that has not obtained Value Added Tax certificate. This provision also applies for construction works. Currently, ceiling on this facility stands at Rs 5,000.