TIB concerned about PDB’s unsolicited deal,
demands transparency, accountability and due process
Dhaka, 27 June 2012. Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has expressed grave concern over the reported effort by Power Development Board (PDB) to award the Bibiana-1 power project on the basis of “unsolicitated negotiation”. TIB has demanded strict adherence to the due process of public contracting, particularly to ensure unrestricted and fully competitive selection process in accord with the relevant rules which will also be consistent with the electoral commitment of the Government.
Reacting to the media report on the PDB request for Government clearence to the unsolicited deal, Iftekharuzzaman, Executive Director of TIB said, “while we appreciate the sense of urgency that may have prompted the move, we call upon the relevant authorities not to take any decision that may question the Government’s commitment to ensure transparency and accountability in decisions of public interest”.
This is particularly important in a backdrop of offers ealier made to the same company reportedly under debatable circumstances, not least also because the Government is under watchful eyes of the people of the country regarding the fate of the Padma bridge, he added.
It is also incumbent upon the Government to examine whether the company that was earlier offered the project should be held accountable for any costs to the nation at least in terms of the delay and unmet expectations due to its failure to deliver within the stipulated time. One company’s failure cannot be allowed to push the Government into further reputational and financial risks, Iftekharuzzaman said. TIB considers this experience to have given the Government enough justification to strategize preventive and punitive measures for such deals in future against all risks of non-delivery.
We are aware of the immunity that the government has granted itself to quick decisions in the energy sector by a special legal provision. Nevertheless, in greater national interest, and for the Government’s own credibility, we call upon the Government not to give in to any unfair pressure and to ensure that other credible interested companies are called upon to take part in a reopened bidding process of Bibiana-1 so that transparency and accountability are ensured, and the nation gets the best possible deal, the statement added.