Nov 11, Colombo: The Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) instructed to implement the recommendations made by the Auditor General regarding the purchase of coal for the period 2022-2025 for the Lakvijaya Coal Plant in Norochcholai.

The Committee discussed the unique circumstances that existed at the time of calling for tenders for the purchase of coal and also paid attention to the views presented by the officials.

The Auditor General discussed at length the weaknesses in the implementation of the procurement process that had been pointed out in his report, and all the members of the committee agreed to table a full report on these discussed matters in Parliament.

Accordingly, the COPE ordered to implement the recommendations presented in the Auditor General’s report in the same way.

The order was made when the Committee on Public Enterprises met in Parliament under the chairmanship of Prof. Ranjith Bandara to examine the special audit report submitted on September 30, 2022 regarding the evaluation of the procurement process for the purchase of coal for the Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant in Norochcholai for the period of 2022-2025.

The Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy, the Chairman of the Procurement Committee, the Chairman of the Lanka Coal Company (pvt) Ltd and the Chairman of the Technical Evaluation Committee were summoned to this meeting.

Accordingly, 8 recommendations for future implementation were presented in the Auditor General’s report.

1. Ensuring proper fulfillment of responsibility of all parties connected with the coal procurement process in accordance with Procurement Guidelines approved by the Government and the necessity of taking appropriate steps against parties deviating from such responsibilities, are emphasized.

2. Without any prejudice to the objectives mentioned in paragraph 1.2 of the Guidelines, attention should be drawn on maximizing competition by relaxing the process of registering bidders to an acceptable level so as to safeguard basic 107 requirements including financial viability, experience, quality of supply and adequate legal obligations of the suppliers.

3. In making amendments to the bidding documents, such amendments should be made without prejudice to relevant confirmations and obligations and after confirming the legality thereof. Furthermore, responsibility should be taken to amend other sections and agreements of the bidding documents to adapt to those amendments. After inviting bids, every possibility of making significant amendments for the bidding documents should be avoided. In the amendments made later on to the documents, action should be taken to allow all bidders a reasonable period to adjust to such amendments.

4. In the procurement of coal, action should be taken to prepare and approve the duly completed Procurement Plan in terms of the Procurement Guidelines, adapt accordingly and to draw attention towards the possibility of obtaining prior agreement on financial provisions so as to confirm timely supply of coal.

5. In case of procurement from a gathering of more suppliers, the legal personality of such a gathering should be confirmed and bidding documents and agreements should be strengthened so as to confirm the capability thereof and confirm timely receipt of quality coal stocks.

6. In determining the composite indexes relating to procurement of coal, action should be taken for timely re-consideration of regional indexes used for preparation of the said indexes so as to gain maximum economic benefits to the Government.

7. Approval had been granted by the Cabinet Decision dated 22 September 2022 to commence procurement activities by providing opportunities as well for suppliers registered already to participate in procurements while adhering to the open international procurement process. In the commencement of open international procurement process, it is recommended that the minimum basic qualifications considered for evaluation of financial and technical potentiality in the present registration of a supplier by the Coal Company, should be included in bidding documents as criteria of evaluating bidders. 8. The relevant officers should be directed to submit accurate information without delay so that the Cabinet has adequate time to carry out necessary studies and to obtain information for granting optimum approval relating to these procurements.

Source – Colombopage