Contractors happy with new deadline from Raha

Vol 7, PW 19 (03 Dec 03) People & Policy

No longer will contractors have to spend weeks waiting for ONGC to respond to clarifications sought at pre-bid meetings.

PETROWATCH learns that on 22nd November ONGC chairman Subir Raha declared that all clarifications, amendments and even minutes will be sent within five days of a pre-bid meeting. Rahas announcement was made at a meeting of 36 companies at Mumbais JW Marriott Hotel called to examine why ONGCs engineering and construction tenders draw such a poor response.

Raha was responding to criticism of ONGC procedure for the nine well platform project now under tender. We are told that J Ray McDermott representative Arun Sen listed a litany of complaints about the way the tender is being handled.

Sen told Raha that the pre-bid meeting was held on 3rd November but that until now ONGC has not responded to any of the clarifications and amendments sought by the bidders. Neither has ONGC replied to letters seeking a 15-day extension to the 3rd December bid closing date.

If ONGC does not respond in time, bidders will lose interest, Sen added. We understand Raha asked executive director Kharak Singh why it takes 20 days to issue the minutes of a pre-bid meeting.

Singh, it emerges, fumbled for a reply and said the file was under review. Unconvinced, Raha wanted to know why bidders should suffer, for our internal matters.

He also asked why ONGC officers could not reply, in an hours time, to a request for extension of the bid closing date, in case they were unable to issue clarifications and amendments soon after a pre-bid meeting. I hereby extend the bid closing date by 15 days, declared Raha.

Raha added that a response should be sent by ONGC within five days to all clarifications and amendments sought at a pre-bid meeting.

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