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Transparency International for check on Army procurements

By Usman Manzoor

ISLAMABAD: Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) has written a daring letter to Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani asking him to direct the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) to implement the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) 2004 rules to bring transparency in its procurements.

The letter to General Kayani dated April 1, 2010 titled, “Pakistan Armed Forces reputation is at stake due to the action of a few army officers of DHA, HIT, FWO, NLC and other Army procuring agencies in violation of procurement rules” mentions that corruption by armed forces officers endangers the very existence of the country which may result in the procurement of sub-standard arms due to conflict of interest, and for personal gains over the national cause by a few individuals.

It is worth mentioning here that TI has written numerous letters to DHA regarding implementation of PPRA 2004 rules and DHA had replied that DHA was a corporate agency and government rules did not apply on it.

The latest letter states: “A letter sent to the administrator DHA Islamabad on 27 Match, which contains following two blatant violations being committed by DHA Islamabad. PPRA has also asked for clarification from DHA Islamabad on 01.4.2010, on these violations.

1. According to DHA Islamabad Ordinance 2007, though DHA Islamabad has not been authorised to make construction byelaws and shall follow CDA construction byelaws, under the Article No 8 of Defence Housing Authority Islamabad Ordinance 2007, 8 powers, duties and function of executive board, (2)(a) provided that in such schemes in Islamabad Capital Territory, the authority shall observe the rules, regulations, byelaws etc. framed by CDA. DHA Islamabad may be ordered to use the above rules, and observe byelaws of CDA in all its construction projects, including compliance of EPA Act.

2. According to Article No 8 of Defence Housing Authority Islamabad Ordinance 2007, powers, duties and function of executive board, 8 (2) (f), on page 5 DHA can enter into contract or any type of arrangement with any local or foreign entity for carrying out the purpose of this ordinance. Government rules on the subject will be observed. DHA Islamabad may be ordered to observe Public Procurement Rules 2004 in all procurements.

But administrator DHA has been committing gross violation of DHAO 2007, Article 8(2) (f), and refusing to comply Public Procurement Rules 2004, which are the only Federal Government Procurement Rules w.e.f 9 June, 2004. S.R.O.432(I)/2004.

TIP repeats that corruption is a cancer, and corruption by armed forces officers endangers the very existence of the country. This may result in the procurement of sub standard arms due to conflict of interest, and for personal gains over the national cause by a few individuals. Indian Armed Forces are also not free from this cancer, but there actions are taken against such elements.

TI Pakistan expect from you a definite change in procurement culture of armed forces, which according to law of the land shall only be based on the Public Procurement Rules 2004, as no one is above law, and DHA Ordinance 2007 makes it mandatory on DHA Islamabad to observe these rules.”

Courtesy ; The News