CDA looks into parliament lodges irregularities

Published: September 22, 2010
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 The parliament lodges have been supplied with what is suspected to be ‘substandard’ furniture. Photo: file

The parliament lodges have been supplied with what is suspected to be ‘substandard’ furniture. Photo: file

ISLAMABAD: Funds have been frozen in the renovation project of parliament lodges after irregularities came to surface recently.

Member Engineering of Capital Development Authority (CDA) Abdul Jabbar Malano said the funds will not be released until an inquiry is completed and results obtained.

After a story published in The Express Tribune, Malano instructed the director general (Services) to look into the matter . All the furniture supplied so far will be inspected in terms of quality and payments made to the contractor.

In a notification, he directed the DG to submit a report regarding the quality of the project within a week.

Member Engineering told the Finance Wing not to authorise the release of any more funds until the report verified the furniture’s’ quality and quantity. Certificates from the members of House and Library Committee have also been sought.

The Express Tribune learnt on September 17 that while furnishing 70 suites in the parliament lodges, CDA
had violated contract rules defined by the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA).

The firm providing the furniture had been contracted through an irregular procedure which had led to controversy and suspicion. This firm was later overpaid by CDA.

After having completed furnishing only 20 suites, the firm had been paid Rs20million for 40 suites. Despite the advance payment, another bill of Rs15milion had been submitted to the Finance Directorate of CDA for clearance.

The cost incurred on one suite is approximately Rs0.57 million according to contract documents, which signifies that CDA should only have to pay Rs11.4 million to the contractor for completing 20 suites.

Initially, when CDA advertised tenders in different newspapers for the project, 11 firms were pre-qualified with May 11, 2010, as the deadline for submissions. But prior to the opening of these tenders, they were cancelled on May 6. On May 7, seven of the 11 pre-qualified firms were asked to present their offers. At that point, former director parliament lodges Shahid Mehmood pointed out that the procedure was going against PPRA rules and was awarded with a transfer.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2010.

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