Powered By Blogger

Popular Posts

Search This Blog

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The scourge of tendering

One word that singularly shares the highest responsibility for not allowing the nation or its constituent organizations to move forward at a fast pace is “tendering”. Least understood yet widely bandied, the curse of tendering has afflicted almost all processes of the governmental sectors leading to widespread inefficiencies and putting brakes on progress.

Unfortunately the origin of the tendering process may have taken root in the mistrust that our erstwhile rulers, the british had for the natives and rightly so, they were the masters and we their minions. But what is really impossible to comprehend are the reasons behind the continuation of this abdominal practice in its crudest form, with a total disregard for the end objective. Under the garb of transparency, the ridiculous continues to rule the roost.

Whether one has to buy potatoes, appoint a consultant, procure aircrafts or acquire a work of art, going through the tendering process is almost sacrosanct, a process that is steeped in mistrust almost as deep as that between our country and its western neighbor. A process that regards the procurer of the goods or services as a proclaimed offender unless proven otherwise, while remaining totally oblivious of the end objective that often conveniently gets sidelined and lost sight of. The process keeps us busy.

And the very fact that the laid down conventional process of tendering that may at best be suitable for procuring potatoes is utilized for acquiring even creativity that is propriety in nature, is leading to ridiculous end results is getting conveniently forgotten.

Before setting out to do anything and often it involves procurement of goods or services, almost always the obvious concern is how to get over or around the tendering system to make things happen for any deviation from the laid down system is viewed as sacrilege enough to condemn the perpetrator to hell for the rest of his life. And there are examples galore of officers known for their integrity having to pay the price for something they never did, but agencies unconcerned with deliverance feel that they did and thoroughly enjoy roasting the innocent.

And that brings us to the fundamental question of whether a vigil by a non-executive over matters he has no clue about can really make an executive or the total system effective? I can never accept a situation in which a non-executive who is less committed, less knowledgeable, less involved and perhaps often less honest than an executive is mandated to keep an eye on the executive and pin him down at the slightest opportunity, not for non-deliverance but for making an inconsequential mistake while doing his job. And if everyone is to be policed, who will police the police.

If I could go back in time, I would like to confront the professor of finance who taught us the canons of financial propriety during the foundation course at staff college, for the first canon was indeed an outrageous statement – use government money as if it is your own. Never in my career spanning almost four decades have I come across a situation in which I would have been allowed to go scot free had I followed the professors advice to the hilt.

A system of procuring goods and services that accepts and even applauds mediocrity in deliverance and regards even a deviation in the procedure as an act of malafide sufficient to consign the perpetrator to the fires of hell needs to change. The nation of today requires the executive to work fearlessly as long as he is on the side of right. And to expect mere mortals not to commit mistakes is foolish to say the least for it is only those who idle shall commit no mistakes.


No comments:

Post a Comment