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OC officials tweaked tendering

delhi Updated: Mar 09, 2011 01:45 IST
Abhishek Sharan
Abhishek Sharan
Hindustan Times
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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) found that the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee director general VK Verma and a few other officials allegedly manipulated the tendering process to restrict participation. The CBI is probing the alleged irregularities in the award of overlays contracts worth over Rs 600 crore in the sporting event that was held here in October 2010.

The agency's probe also found that Verma, and a few other officials, allegedly overlooked certain shortcomings in the request for proposal (RFP) of four consortiums that were the eventual beneficiaries, said a CBI official who was not authorised to talk to the media.

The official said that the OC's expression of interest (EOI) evaluation committee had, on January 14, 2010, recommended six of the ten bidders for issuance of RFPs.

"The next day, on January 15, Verma arbitrarily selected only the favourite four bidders for RFPs, after rejecting the bid of the remaining two bidders," the official said.

“The disqualification of the two companies was based on the same shortcomings that were present in the bids of the selected four companies," the officer said.

Earlier, at the start of the tendering process, the accused OC officials had issued global tenders for the overlays contracts, as required, but did it in a way that allegedly restricted participation.

"Against the norms of inviting tenders globally, the tender notice was not publicised in Indian Trade Journal. Nor was it sent to Indian embassies abroad or foreign embassies in India to widen participation," an agency official said.

The tender notice was also not "endorsed" to firms that were known to specialise in offering the overlays that were required for the Games. The EOI was only uploaded on the OC website and publicised through media.

“Highly restrictive conditions were inserted in the expression of interest that resulted in scenario wherein only 10 bidders could participate,” he said.

The CBI had in January lodged a first information report (FIR) in the case based on allegations that the overlays contracts were given at exorbitant rates. The agency arrested Verma last month.

CBI officials said that huge bribes were also allegedly paid to the OC officials. The bribe givers allegedly included overlays supplier Sandeep Wadhwa who was arrested by the CBI on Monday.

Last month, the CBI arrested two top OC officials for their involvement in alleged irregularities related to the procurement of timing, scoring and result (TSR) system at an exorbitant rate from a Swiss firm, Swiss Timing.

Through a newspaper advertisement on Tuesday, Swiss Timing said: "The Swiss Timing company has not been contacted by CBI till now. The tender procedure and the bidding procedure have been totally transparent and Swiss Timing has at no time tried to illegally influence ... The pricing has been totally transparent."