All Government departments in the State will switch to the `e-procurement' mode from January 1, 2005, said Principal Secretary, Information Technology and Communications, J.C. Mohanty.
On a pilot basis, it was made operational on January 29, 2003, in five departments— Andhra Pradesh Technology Services (APTS), Irrigation and Roads and Buildings departments, Road Transport Corporation and Health and Medical Infrastructure Development Corporation.
Later, the Tribal Welfare, Panchayati Raj, Public Health and Animal Husbandry departments and the Police Housing Corporation, were included.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Mr. Mohanty and the Secretary (IT & C), Ajay Sawhney, said the Application Service Provider model, being run by the department and C 1 India, Andhra Pradesh Government's private partner, would be fine-tuned for a full-fledged launch by January 1, 2005. Agencies slated to adopt e-procurement include Transco, Genco, Singareni Collieries, Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanams and the Hyderabad Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board.
Mr. Mohanty said transactions worth Rs. 1,982 crores were made in 2003-04, with a saving due to tender discounts, of Rs. 255 crores. Until September 30 this fiscal, transactions worth Rs. 878 crores were made, with savings of Rs. 72 crores. Savings apart, it was the time-saving that would be significant.
The process of calling tenders and finalising bids, which used to take at least 180 days, was now taking just 45 days, he said, adding the Government wanted to reduce it to seven days.
New pricing structure
A new pricing structure for bidders will soon come into effect, following a decision at a meeting with the Chief Secretary, Mohan Kanda. Bidders will now have to pay a transaction fee of 0.04 per cent of the estimated contract value.
However, there will be cap of Rs. 10,000 for contracts up to Rs. 50 crores and Rs. 25,000 for contracts worth more.
Digital signatures in collaboration with certifying agencies will be issued by the APTS.