AAP- DK Questions the Veracity of Hiring Project Management Consultants by MSCL

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AAP- DK Questions the Veracity of Hiring Project Management Consultants by Mangaluru Smart City Limited (MSCL)- Raises doubts on effective utilization of Rs. 2000 crore funds allocated for Smart city

Mangaluru: AAP-DK on behalf of the general public of Mangalore has raised some pertinent questions with regards to the effective utilisation of the Rs. 2000 crore funds allocated out of tax-payers money towards smart city development.

It is understood that the Mangalore City Corporation on behalf of the SPV had invited proposals for “Procurement of Project Management Consultancy services for the smart City” vide their notification no: MCC/PMC/SCM/2016-17 Dated 01-12-2016. Prequalification criteria for the bidders were specified as below:

a) Minimum annual turnover of Rs. 50 crores in any of the last financial years

b) Design & PMC service experience in a single urban infrastructure project with a consultancy fee of not less than Rs 15 crores during the last 7 years

c) Implemented at least two information communications & Technology based smart solution projects of value not less than Rs 5 crores in urban areas in the last 7 years.

d) Successfully structured and signed concession agreements in at least two PPP projects in the last 7 years.

e) Experience in working with government and/or government bodies

Post that, MSCL critically reviewed the techno-commercial offers received from bidders and awarded the PMC contract to a consortium led by M/s Wadia Techno Engineering Services Limited (WTE) {M/s Louis Berger Consulting Private Limited & Centre for development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) other group members of consortium}.

M/s WTE was working as MSCL – PMC consultant for the past two years and as per the contract, all projects undertaken by MSCL required services from WTE. Therefore, all design documents, design drawings, drawings issued for construction, techno-commercial evaluation of contractors who bid for the MSCL project, BOQ & certification of the total work executed by the contractor was under the scope of PMC.

AAP- DK now understands that the services of WTE are terminated and MSCL has begun executing the projects under its own administration with no new PMC on board. However, it’s not clear whether WTE has accepted the termination or disputing the same.

In view of the above developments, AAP-DK seeks clarification from MSCL authorities for the following:

1. It was observed that a stringent pre-qualification criterion was set for the purpose of participating in bidding activities as a PMC consultancy. The criteria necessitated firms to join hands with other companies who by virtue of their position would assume a lead role. This prevented the Mangalore based consultancy firms from tender participation as they were individual firms/ bidders. AAP- DK would like to know whether these pre-qualification criteria were set to deny the participation of local engineering firms &/or did the work & financial requirement really demand such pre-qualification?

2. The contract award letter obtained via RTI indicates that Clause 2.7 covers contract termination. The sub -Clauses 2.7.1 (a-d) referring to PMC termination for non-performance/improvements/force majeure/corrupt practices/financial bankruptcy while Clause 2.7.1 (e) specifies that MSCL, in its sole discretion and for any reason whatsoever, can terminate the PMC contract. It is obvious that MSCL has thought of providing scope for PMC performance audit but at the same time has retained clause 2.7.1 (e) of arbitrary termination, favouring itself. AAP-DK demands the purpose of including such arbitrary clause 2.7.1(e) in the contract by MSCL despite setting high techno-commercial standards to select a bidder.

3. It is understood that MSCL has issued a PMC termination letter to WTE. Termination of the PMC contract, after going through the established tender process in award raises questions about the working of MSCL. AAP-DK demands that MSCL communicate to the public the reason for termination along with the correspondence between MSCL and WTE regarding the quality of PMC services rendered, minutes of the MSCL decision-making body on this subject and more.

4. AAP-DK demands that MSCL place before the general public (main stakeholders) the pros and cons regarding the termination of the PMC – WTE. This shall reflect the services rendered by WTE, drawback in their services, technical & financial impact on the projects being executed by WTE, accountability of WTE for the lapse in services towards completed projects, impact on new projects of MSCL, etc.

5. AAP-DK would like to know in detail the selection procedure for the next PMC for MSCL. Is MSCL going for a second successful bidder from the previous RFP or requires a new RFP? If new RFP, are they going for the same pre-qualification criteria? AAP- DK requests MSCL to place before the public, the minutes of the MSCL decision-making body regarding this subject.

6. AAP-DK has noticed that MSCL is executing the PMC activities with the help of the in-house team post the issuance of termination letter to WTE. AAP-DK would like MSCL to place before the public, their in-house manpower strengths and capabilities to execute projects of such magnitude as well as the mechanism for controlling accountability of its staff while performing PMC roles in absence of appointed PMC.

7. Further if MSCL can take up the PMC role itself, why in the first place an RFP for PMC was called for?

In lieu of the general public, AAP-DK has raised these questions and expects MSCL to respond to the queries raised so that everyone is convinced that MSCL is spending the taxpayer money smartly and in the very interest of main stakeholders – Mangaloreans.

For further enquiries:

Rajendra Kumar K.P. -District Convenor AAP – DK

Mobile: 9902020285; Email: rajaamaadmi@gmail.com

The Author: Er Rajendra Kumar is a BE (Civil Engineering) and ME (Foundations) graduate and is the Aam Aadmi Party-Dakshina Kannada Convener. He is also an active member of the MCC Civic Group.



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