KATHMANDU, Sept 4: A probe committee formed to investigate the problems appearing in the newly-purchased vehicles for the parliamentary committee heads have recommended replacing the sub-standard parts and accessories found in the problematic vehicles within seven days.
Submitting its report to Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara on Tuesday, the committee suggested actions against the supplier under the Public Procurement Act if it failed to replace the parts within seven days.
“Most of the newly purchased vehicles had minor technical problems and three vehicles had major problems like gear box, unnecessary sound and substandard accessories,” said Ram Narayan Bidari, coordinator of the probe committee. “We have suggested replacing the those parts and accessories of the vehicles. If the supplier fails to do so, action should be taken under the Public Procurement Act.”
Speaker Mahara had formed a five-member committee to probe the technical condition of the vehicles and procurement process after chairpersons of various parliamentary committees complained about the newly-purchased Mahindra Scorpio SUVs for them. The parliament secretariat purchased 11 new vehicles for the chairpersons of parliamentary committees last month.
They have complained about door visor, abnormal sound when the vehicle is running and gearbox problems and sub-standard accessories in the vehicles. But four chairpersons of various parliamentary committees didn’t appear before the probe committee when invited for inquiry about the problems in their vehicles citing various reasons.
The probe committee report includes a technical report by a mechanical engineer from the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport and a separate report from Public Procurement Office. Speaker Mahara said that he will take necessary action after studying the report submitted by the probe committee.
“I am yet to go through the details of the report. It seems there are technical aspects but not in the procurement process,” said Mahara after receiving the report. “I will study the report and take necessary action based on the recommendations.” The report has recommended the Speaker to take necessary action based on the findings.
According to the probe committee members, the report has recommended a separate procurement section in the parliament secretariat. The parliament secretariat has been carrying out the procurement process through its store section so far.
“Our study found that the procurement tender was targeted at buying the same model vehicle only. It has been also found that same individuals were involved in finalizing the specification during the bidding and while approving the procurement which is against the procurement procedure,” said a member of the probe committee.
According to him, the report has further suggested issuing warnings to the staffers in the parliament secretariat who were directly involved in the procurement process.