What threats of imposing penalties and being stripped of recognition couldn’t do, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) believes a ‘pact’ will.
Wanting to stop contractors from cutting corners and carrying out civic projects in a shoddy manner, the BMC now wants them to commit on paper that they won’t.
The BMC is now contemplating an ‘integrity pact’ with contractors.
What this means is that contractors will now have to commit on paper that they will not indulge in any corruption or malpractices while on the job. The practice of signing such pacts with their contractors is followed by almost every major public undertaking.
Elaborating on the idea, BMC chief Sitaram Kunte said, “This pact is common practice in models of good governance. A pact of this nature is generally a list of commitments that the contractor makes. These commitments are binding on the contractor.”
Civic officials said such a pact includes a code of conduct that the contractor is supposed to adhere to.
“Such pacts are generally the most obvious, but unsaid things, which till now don’t find a place in legal documents. While the agreement and the contract speaks of legal points, the pact will be an ethical and moral code of conduct.” For instance, one of the points in the pact is that the contractor will not offer or accept bribes.
Along with the pact, the civic body also plans to make contractors sign an undertaking to pledge that they have quoted the lowest prices.
“We have seen suppliers overcharging us for procurements we have made. To avoid this, we will sign this undertaking with them that they have quoted the best price that could have been,” an official said.
Kunte said these pacts wouldn’t just remain on paper. “If we find that the contractor has violated the pact or the undertaking, then we will invoke these documents to take strict action against the firm, which includes de-registration.”