ONGC introduces corruption-free contract on 1st July

Vol 9, PW 6 (30 Jun 05) People & Policy
     

Subir Rahas fight against corruption within ONGC enters a decisive phase this week with the introduction of new contract procedures approved and promoted by the internationally recognised corruption watchdog Transparency International.

Raha wants to begin the new procedure by 1st July. Critical to the new procedure is a tool devised by Transparency to fight corruption in the award of contracts by state-owned companies.

Based on the Berlin Airport reconstruction project and approved by 19 countries already, it is widely becoming an international benchmark. Known as the Integrity Pact, it involves the setting up of a body of independent external monitors who will scrutinise tenders and contracts, from the moment an Expression of Interest is submitted through to payment by ONGC for the service provided.

The independent external monitor is involved from day one, said Raha, If there is any allegation, he can call for the file from management and take his view on the tender committee's decision. He can then inform management.

ONGC has taken pains to ensure that the selection of any member on the committee of independent monitors must first be approved and selected by Indias own respected anti-corruption watchdog: Central Vigilance Committee. First news of the Integrity Pact emerged on 13th May in Mumbai when Raha addressed up to 70 contractors that work for ONGC during the companys 4th Vendors Meet.

A source present tells us Raha talked tough with bidders and in a reference directed at South Koreas Hyundai Heavy Industries, which ONGC has blacklisted, reminded them that ONGC would not bow to pressures from politicians or diplomats. Raha said problems encountered in dealing with ONGC should be brought to his personal attention and not be solved using other means.

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