Bihar: BMSICL employees allege irregularities in awarding contract to purchase medical equipment

Bihar: BMSICL employees allege irregularities in awarding contract to purchase medical equipment

New Delhi, Nov 15 (PTI) Employees of the Bihar Medical Services and Infrastructure Corporation Limited (BMSICL) have alleged irregularities in a tender process floated by it to procure medical equipment for a Patna-based drug testing laboratory.

They have alleged that the BMSICL has overlooked its own norms to award contracts to a particular company due to 'reasons best known to itself'.

BMSICL Managing Director Dinesh Kumar did not respond to emails and WhatsApp messages seeking response to the allegations.

On May 24 this year, the BMSICL floated a tender and the bidders, as per the document available on its website, were asked to submit technical bids in online mode only.

The tender document also said that the technical evaluation will be done only on the basis of documents or papers submitted by the bidders on the e-tender portal -- -- only.

“Four companies participated in the bid. However, one of them did not upload the mandatory documents, technical specifications, and data sheets, among others, online before the due date,” a BMSICL employee said, requesting anonymity.

Instead, the company in question submitted a physical bid and uploaded a letter online saying that it couldn’t upload its technical bid due to the huge file size.

“We hereby declare that due to the huge file size, we are unable to upload the technical data sheet and therefore we are submitting hard copies of the same along with other original documents,” said the letter, a copy of which is in possession of PTI.

Once the bid submission date was over, the BMSICL on August 4 intimated the companies about the shortcomings in their bids and asked them to furnish the required documents within seven days.

'In the next step, the BMSICL should have uploaded the technical evaluation report on its website. However, it opened the financial bid of the two companies only on September 15, without intimating the other two companies about the disqualification of their bids,' another employee said.

“In a blatant violation, the BMSICL awarded the contract on October 27 to one of the two companies but uploaded the minutes of the technical bid meeting on October 31, four days after awarding the contract. The corporation should have done it before September 15 when it opened the financial bid for the sake of transparency and in compliance with its norms,” the employee said.

According to the employees, the minutes of the meeting should have been uploaded on the website with proper reasoning as to why they (BMSICL) are rejecting the bids of two companies and accepting the two others.

The employees also flagged other violations saying that the BMSICL selected the bids of two companies and the internal documents show that one of the two companies 'acted as proxy' for the other.

“Out of 31 brands and models that the two companies have submitted, 29 are strikingly common in both the bids,” said the employee quoted above demanding a probe into the alleged malpractices.

He added, “Even if we presume that it is a mere coincidence, there are other documents of the two companies which are identical word by word. One can verify it on the e-tender portal of the state government.” The employees have alleged cartelization which “either the Corporation failed to notice or deliberately overlooked”.

Sachin Jain, a Delhi High Court lawyer who has been fighting cases of medical negligence and in the knowledge of the subject, said, “Such tender should be revoked as being unfair, non-transparent and against public policy. It brings a direct loss to the state exchequer.' The employees have also questioned the estimated cost that the BMSICL has shown for the bid and the price that the successful (qualified) companies have quoted.

“The BMSICL wanted to spend Rs 4 crore to purchase these products but the company which has won the contract quoted Rs 13 crore plus GST. This is over three times more than the estimated cost of this bid,” said the employee, adding that the other company had quoted Rs 16.57 crore plus GST.

The employees allege that in the past five years, this particular company, which has won the contract, has been awarded orders worth more than Rs 170 crore from BMSICL.

The BMSICL is the sole procurement and distribution agency of drugs and equipment for all establishments under the Bihar government's health department. PTI JP JP KVK KVK

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated feed.

PSU Watch