The investigations into the public procurement for the Commonwealth Games (CWG) had not found any fault wherever the agencies concerned like Central Public Works Department, Delhi Public Works Department (PWD) and Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had followed the time tested procedure laid down by the CPWD. CPWD Director-general Rakesh Misra asserted this in his address to the Public Procurement Summit organized by the industry chamber Assocham.
However, Misra said, ``The Indian public generally has a dim view of public procurement practices. These are regarded by many as a by-word for corruption, mismanagement, wasteful and uneconomic.``
E-procurement would greatly reduce the element of discretion in awarding projects, he said. Admitting that few states and few departments of the central government had adopted e-procurement, he endorsed the view that systemic and procedural improvements in this area were needed.
``The new Public Procurement Bill proposes basic reform of the whole area of public procurement, including the legal and regulatory framework, the institutional structure, the deployment of modern technology in aid of public procurement, as well as overhaul of certain specific prevailing practices,`` Misra pointed out.
At the same time he cautioned against laxity on the part of user agencies and suppliers in adhering to quality and construction standards that was also responsible for the public perception about the project construction of government schemes.
He said that in addition to new technologies and procedures like e-procurement, ``empowerment of the public at large through Right to Information has brought about a revolution of sorts. No more the government departments can work behind the cloak of secrecy``.
``It has made it essential that all actions of department are transparent and self-speaking to demonstrate fairness.``