MoU for transparency in AAI's procurement process

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New Delhi, Feb 17 (UNI) The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has signed an ''integrity pact'' with Transparency International (India) to exhibit transparency and accountability in its procurement process.

AAI is spending about Rs 2,000 crore on modernisation during 2007-08, and is committed to spending more than Rs 12,000 crore on airport infrastructure development in the 11th Plan.

The pact, signed on Friday in the presence of Chief Vigilance Commissioner Pratyush Singh, involves a voluntary agreement between the bidder and AAI for abstaining from bribery or engaging in any type of malpractices, including the formation of cartel.

It requires disclosure of any undue payment made for gaining the bid or executing the contract.

AAI has made the integrity pact mandatory for all tenders of specified values which are going to be opened or signed on or after April 1, official sources said today The Authority will now implement tenders for civil and electrical works for value above Rs 50 crore, purchases of equipment above Rs 25 crore and commercial and land contracts of annual turnover of more than Rs 25 crore on the basis of the pact.

These limits will be reviewed by the AAI Board after one year, sources said.

The limits have been set keeping in view all the major infrastructure projects for upgradation of facilities or procurement of state-of-the-art CNS/ATM high-tech equipment.

These included Kolkata and Chennai airports wherein more than Rs 2,000 crore each is expected to be spent on modernisation and upgradation, and 35 non-metro airports where world-class facilities are going to be created shortly.

Any violation of the provisions of the pact will lead to disqualification of the tender or forfeiture of earnest money or debarment of the bidder up to five years.

Even sub-contractors whose contribution in a contract is more than five crore will be expected to sign the integrity pact.

For overseeing the implementation of the pact, three eminent persons-- Former Civil Aviation Secretary M K Kaw, former National and International Airports Authority of India (NIAAI) Chairman K N Ardhanareeswaran, former NIAAI member (Engg.) R C Rekhi-- have been appointed external independent monitors.

AAI or the bidder can approach the designated monitors for investigating into specific complaints. Necessary action will be taken by the Vigilance Directorate of the Authority on the recommendations of the monitors.

UNI YJ YA KP1121

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