Cabinet Economic Affairs Committee has turned down a proposal of the Foreign Ministry to follow Japanese law in appointing contractor for the construction Bangladesh Chancery Complex in Tokyo.
Rather, the Cabinet body asked the Foreign Ministry to go for direct procurement process under the purview of Bangladesh public procurement law (PPA) 2006.
“The Cabinet body found no basis within its jurisdiction to accept the Foreign Ministry’s proposal to follow the Japanese Law instead of the Bangladesh law,” said Nurul Karim, Additional Secretary of the Cabinet Division.
He said the Bangladesh Embassy in Japan would have to follow the Bangladesh law in dealing with any procurement proposal.
Official sources said the Foreign Ministry’s proposal came against the backdrop of its failure to appoint a contractor to build its Bangladesh Chancery Complex in Tokyo for which Japan government has allocated a piece of land in Tokyo with a condition to build the complex within a specific timeframe.
The construction of Bangladesh Chancery Complex in Tokyo is a longstanding project as it was undertaken by the Foreign Ministry in 2011 following the allotment of land from the Japanese government.
Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved the project of Tk 88.64 crore for implementation between July 2011 and June 2013.
However, the construction cost of the complex was estimated to be Tk 77.78 crore.
Following the ECNEC approval, Bangladesh Embassy in Japan invited a tender and a number of Japanese construction companies showed interest for the project. Finally, three Japanese firms emerged as pre-qualified bidders for the project.
But, when these three firms were asked to submit their respective offers by 18 December 2013, two of them — Shimizu Corporation and ANDO Corporation — surprisingly informed the Bangladesh embassy that they would not submit tender for the project.
Of them, Shimizu Corporation said that the tender was invited as per Bangladesh Procurement Law. But it is not possible for them to follow the Bangladesh law in any construction work in Japan.
Only one Japanese firm — CHIKEN Company Limited — submitted its offer, but refrained from submitting any security bond along with the offer. As a result, the offer of the lone bidder was also cancelled.
The whole process put the Bangladesh embassy in a great trouble as there was a condition from Japan while allotting the land that the Bangladesh would have to build its Chancery Complex within a specific timeframe of 30 June 2012. In case of failure, it has to pay a penalty of 11.17 crore Japanese Yen to the Japan government.
However, after a long parley, the Japanese government finally extended the Chancery Complex construction timeframe till June 2014. Now again, the Bangladesh government requested the Japanese government to further extend the time up to July 2016.
In the meantime, the tender evaluation committee at its meeting reached a conclusion that the project should be given a waiver from following the Bangladesh Public Procurement Rule 2008 and Procurement Law 2006.
After this recommendation, the Foreign Ministry moved the proposal to exempt the Japanese firm from following the Bangladesh procurement law and rules, and instead follow the Japanese rule.
Officials said the Cabinet Economic Affairs Committee instead of approving the proposal, took a decision that the Foreign Ministry can go for direct procurement process within the framework of the Bangladesh law.
Officials said section 32 of the Public Procurement Law 2006 allows the government entity to go for direct procurement with some conditions.
Officials said this latest decision of the Cabinet body may facilitate the expedition of the project for construction of Bangladesh Chancery Complex in Tokyo.