The Union Cabinet today approved the Public Procurement Bill, 2012 for introduction in the current session of the Parliament.

The Bill seeks to regulate procurement by Ministries/ Departments of the Central Government and its attached/subordinate offices, Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs), autonomous and statutory bodies controlled by the Central Government and other procuring entities with the objectives of ensuring transparency, accountability and probity in the procurement process, fair and equitable treatment of bidders, promoting competition, enhancing efficiency and economy, safeguarding integrity in the procurement process and enhancing public confidence in public procurement. The Bill is based on broad principles and envisages a set of detailed rules, guidelines and model documents. The Bill builds on national and international experience and best practices, as appropriate for the needs of the Government of India.

The Bill would create a statutory framework for public procurement which will provide greater accountability, transparency and enforceability of the regulatory framework. The Bill provides for the following:

a. Codifying the fundamental principles governing procurement, essential for achieving economy, efficiency and quality as well as combating corruption and legally obligates procuring entities and their officials to comply with these principles. In this context, the draft Bill provides mandatory provisions regarding key aspects of the procurement process and requires establishment of time frames for decision making.

b. Ensuring that competition will be maximised in procurement in the interests of economy, efficiency, integrity.

c. Providing for adequate flexibility to take into account diversity of needs and types of procuring entities, types of procurement needs and methods of procurement.

d. Providing for a strong framework of transparency and accountability through a public procurement portal and a grievance redressal system in which an independent mechanism, chaired by a retired High Court Judge, would review grievances.

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