Contractors can get extensions on delayed projects, but they cannot participate in new bidsNewly-amended Public Procurement Regulation has set the new rule for builders.
The newly-amended Public Procurement Regulation has barred contractors who are responsible for delays in their works from participating in the new government bids until they complete the existing contracts.
“If a contractor or supplier or service provider is responsible for non-completion of projects on time and the contract deadlines need to be extended, they cannot participate in any new government bids until the remaining works are completed within the extended deadline,” says the amended regulation.
The federal government amended the Public Procurement Regulation for the fourth time in seven months through the Cabinet meeting on December 23, opening the door for the extension of sick contracts, irrespective of who is responsible— government agencies or contractors—for their delay. It is the ninth amendment to the regulation after the sixth amendment was made on May 13.
Public contractors are in agreement with the new provision.
“If a contractor does not complete the project at hand, why should it be given additional contracts?” asked Rabi Singh, president of the Federation of Contractors’ Association of Nepal. “We have taken this provision positively because this provision would encourage unruly contractors to complete the outstanding works at the earliest to get new contracts.”
According to the federation, there are around 2,200 sick projects, most of them as a result of insufficient budget, delay in site clearances by the government authorities and, in some cases, unruly contractors.
“The tradition of minister and lawmakers forcing the government to incorporate certain projects without a proper study and plan and the lack of budget resulted in the delay of some projects,” said Singh.
The sixth amendment to the regulation has, however, barred the government agencies from calling for tenders without ensuring the budget and site clearance.
The newly amended regulation has also allowed contracts to be extended a second time if the works could not be completed due to reasonable, unavoidable factors without creating any additional financial burden for the government.
Public contractors say the works in some projects have remained very slow and they would need more than a year’s time to complete them.
The newly-amended regulation has also stated that contractors should deploy unemployed youths listed with the Employment Service Centre to complete the projects. In order to implement the Prime Minister Employment Programme, the government has created a service centre to register unemployed people aged between 18 and 59 years.
Singh said that they were ready to abide by the government’s plan. “We mostly use local people for the works,” he said.