The Vishakhapatam Steel Plant has become another PSU by signing a MoU on March 29th 2007 with TI India for adopting Integrity Pact (IP) - a measure to check corruption in public procurement and contracting. This Pact has been prepared in consultation with the Central Vigilance Commission. It is a tool, which ensures that all activities and transactions between a Company or Government Department and their Suppliers are handled in a fair, transparent and corruption-free manner. In other words, it prohibits any kind of bribing, favour or any other unethical practice, which is closely monitored by honorary Independent External Monitors (IEMs). These IEMs are entitled only for reimbursement of their out of pocket expenses and authorised to call for any paper needed to probe the complaints or any other dubious matter.
It may be mentioned that this is the second MoU – the first being with the ONGC on April 17, 2006, with any public undertaking. The process of its implementation has been absolutely smooth and the response from the bidders has been encouraging. The ONGC is expecting the following benefits:
- Improved sense of ethics in ONGC and among the bidders
- Reduction in external interventions in matters of contracts and tenders
- Fewer representations/complaints
Now, many more PSUs like SAIL, Mangalore Oil Refinery, Airport Authority of India, etc. are considering to introduce Integrity Pacts in their procurements and contracts. Earlier, the Ministry of Defence, in their Procurement Procedures for 2006, have mentioned the adoption of IP in their contracts and procurements worth Rs. 100 Crores and more. Such an adoption will enhance the credibility of Indian market and help in improving governance and economic development of our country.
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