Bids opened despite leak of bidders’ names
Bids for the construction work of two student halls at Kushtia Islamic University (IU) for Tk 108 crore have been opened despite the fact that names of the bidders had been leaked a few days ago.
The university authorities, while opening the electronic government purchase (EGP) tenders on Monday afternoon, said they completed the process following all relevant rules.
"The construction company MS-MRT (JV) has been selected as the lowest bidder," HM Ali Hasan, director at the department of planning and development (P&D) of the university, told The Daily Star.
He said a total of 10 companies took part in the process. Four bids were made for one hall and six for the other.
Acting Chief Engineer of the university Munshi Saeed, also a member of the committee assigned to open the bids, claimed that names of the companies leaked before the bids were opened but it did not harm the fairness of competition.
He told The Daily Star over phone that they had received the names of the 10 companies a few days ago via text messages and those matched with the bids opened yesterday.
"The disclosure of names did not harm the tender process because the bids made was not leaked," he said yesterday.
The IU vice-chancellor Sheikh Abdus Salam said they did not get any written complaint from any bidders and added that they would have forwarded the complaint to authorities concerned if they had received any.
"The university has no control over the e-tender process. It is regulated by the Central Procurement Unit (CPTU) under the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) of the Ministry of Planning," said Salam.
Munshi, Salam, and Hasan said they received the text messages from an unknown phone number.
Preferring anonymity, representatives of a few bidders told The Daily Star that any information leaked from EGP was a violation and it hampered fairness.
Prior knowledge of participants opens the door to exploitation and manipulation, they said.
Asked why they had not filed a complaint, they said the process was complicated and finding evidence would be difficult.
The Daily Star tried to connect the number from which the messages were sent but found it to be switched off.
This paper also tried to contact the DG of Central Procurement Technical Unit (CPTU) Mohammed Shoheler Rahman for his comments last night. But he did not respond.
A CPTU official, preferring anonymity, told The Daily Star that information leaking from the EGP was a serious allegation. But at the same time disclosure of only names could be a coincidence as people in this business know each other.
There is little chance of information leakage from the EGP which is a secured server, the official claimed, adding that inputs made to the server get encrypted and those get decrypted only when the bids are opened.