First tender announced in January cancelled; Winner of second tender completed in August yet to be announced
PANJIM: At the time when there have been ministers who have rapped the bureaucracy for inefficiency, it does appear that Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s illness has hit certain activities in the Tourism Department as well. The recent controversy over beach cleaning and the delay of almost a year in finalising a new PR agency for the department are two instances.
While tension between Drishti Lifesaving Pvt Ltd and Goa government over clearing garbage from the beaches has been settled after the latter officially extended its service till March 2019, the other issue is yet to be tackled.
The selection of a new PR firm “for exclusive PR and allied services of the Tourism Department” has been caught in red-tape despite the completion of the bidding process. Sources informed Herald that after cancelling the first tender notice of January 18 ‘on administrative grounds’, the department issued a re-tender on July 10. Three agencies – Ad Factors, Concept PR and Public Relations – participated in the bidding processes.
“The entire bidding procedures like opening of the technical bid, financial bid and the presentation by the participating PR firms were carried out. To many people’s surprise, six months later the government informed the agencies that the e-tender was cancelled on administrative grounds and a re-tender notice will soon be issued,” a government source informed Herald. The three participating agencies once again bid for partnering with the department.
The source further revealed that in the re-tender notice the same process was carried out and completed by August. Since then the PR firms are waiting for the decision. While the first notice issued on January 18 had the last date for submission of the tender as February 14, the re-tender notice on July 10 had slated the due date on July 31.
Herald contacted Tourism Minister Manohar Azgaonkar, who seemed unfazed by the delay but assured an announcement shortly. “So what if there is a delay? We agree all the procedures are complete and the new PR firm will soon be announced,” he said explaining, “Since we had a lowest bidder, we wanted to understand if it will be capable of handling the work pressure for which presentations were held. All the agencies took part in the presentation.”
Some of the terms and conditions in the tender document include that the participating agency should have minimum 15 retainer clients, should have handled around five government projects and have an annual turnover of Rs 2-3 crore.
Ad Factors, the present PR partner is already on an extension according to the previous tender’s specification. “The awarded PR firm is on a contract period of three years with two years extension, as per the tender document of the year 2012. Ad Factors had bagged the contract when the government had first sought for a PR firm for Goa Tourism Department,” the source said.