SC makes publication of public procurement tender notices in newspapers mandatory

Published On: January 8, 2024 12:00 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 8: The Supreme Court (SC) has ruled that public procurement notices must be published in newspapers according to the Public Procurement Act. The decision overturns the provision in the 'Electronic Procurement System Directive-2080 BS' issued by the Public Procurement Monitoring Office (PPMO), which had previously excluded the publication of tender-related information in newspapers when tenders were invited through the electronic procurement system.

With this SC order, the conflicting provision in the Electronic Procurement System Directive-2080 will be repealed. A writ petition filed at the SC, arguing that this directive contradicted the Public Procurement Act, was heard by the joint bench of Supreme Court Justices Sushma Lata Mathema and Abdul Aziz Muslim. The SC ruled in favor of the petition registered by the Advertising Association of Nepal (AAN), stating that the guidelines issued by the PPMO were against the Public Procurement Act.

AAN filed the writ petition on November 29, 2023, contending that the guidelines were in conflict with the Public Procurement Act. The SC decision confirmed that the PPMO had issued guidelines contrary to the Public Procurement Act. According to the Public Procurement Act, the government was required to publish notices in newspapers as part of the public media when inviting bids for services from any company.

The Electronic Procurement System Directive-2080 had introduced a provision to place notices on the website operated by the relevant office and the PPMO, eliminating the requirement to print notices in newspapers. However, the recent SC decision mandates that government bids must be published in newspapers when they are called. AAN approached the SC against the guidelines, effective from mid-July, arguing that they conflicted with Section 14 of the Procurement Act, which stipulates the procurement process for purchasing goods, constructing physical structures, or acquiring services through tenders.


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