Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) has decided to implement an Integrity Pact with bidders/vendors for all fresh purchases and contracts valued at Rs. 100 crore and above. This is a significant step taken by the company at a time when it is in the process of finalising expansion & modernisation projects that involve thousands of crores of rupees.
The system will come into effect from 16th August, 2007 and will ensure that both SAIL and bidders bear the onus of ensuring that tendering and award of contracts are done in a free and fair manner. The pact shall also be a contractual agreement between SAIL and vendors/purchasers committing both sides to adhere to certain prescribed ethical norms. The pact also has provisions for payment of damages and other retributive actions in case any of the prescribed norms are proven to be violated.
Independent External Monitors (IEMs) will oversee the execution of the pact, which will help to increase transparency and provide a level playing field for both SAIL as well as bidders. In this regard, the Central Vigilance Commission has approved the appointment of Mr. P. Shankar, former Central Vigilance Commissioner, and Dr. P.L. Agarwal, former SAIL Chairman, as IEMs. The salient features of the pact have been vetted by the Additional Solicitor General of India.
With this, SAIL has once again demonstrated its commitment towards enhancing transparency and accountability in its systems.