||INES Ingenieros Consultores wants to present a complaint as it has incurred into expenses when conducting the contract negotiation of the procurement process #IN-PIU - PWD-64129-CS-QCBS, for the project named "Consulting Services for Proof Checking Consultancy for the Design and DPR of Road Protection Works proposed under UDRP Additional Financing".
After being notified with the Intention to Award by the Project Implementation Unit (Roads& Bridges), UDRP of Uttarakhand, INES team was requested to travel to Dehradun to undertake the contract negotiations. Even if videoconference was suggested as an alternative method by INES, it was not accepted by the PIU. Two senior engineers, carrying the required Power of Attorney to sign the contract on behalf of INES, travelled to Uttarakhand for one week to do a kickoff presentation of the project, explain the methodology, conduct a site visit and negotiate the contract. However, the Program Manager representing the PIU was not in town, so even if the contract negotiations were conducted, the contract could not be finally signed. After several months of changing contract clauses, conditions and the scope of work, the borrower decided to cancel the contract due to a significant reduction of the scope (driven entirely by the PIU). As a result, INES Ingenieros Consultores incurred in travel expenses that will not be covered or paid by the contract.
The nature of the complaint is the Borrower’s decision to cancel the procurement process after the contract negotiations were conducted. This complaint seeks to challenge the cancellation of the awarding process by the borrower and to claim the travel expenses incurred during contract negotiations as per request of the client.
The relevant facts and circumstances leading to this complaint are the following:
The submission of the Expression of Interest took place in early October and its proposal (technical and financial proposals) on December the 26th, 2018. INES Ingenieros Consultores received the invitation for the Contract Negotiation of the project “Proof Checking Consultancy for Road Protection works” (Pkg No. UDRP/AF/RP/PCC/01), by means of a letter signed by Dr. V Shanmugam, at that time the Program Manager of the PIU (R&B, UDRP, Dehradun), on January the 15th, 2019.
The contract negotiation meeting, originally proposed for January the 22nd, was scheduled for February 5th-7th at the Program Manager office, Dehradun, India. Dr. Illán Paniagua Serrano (authorized representative of INES and in possession of the required power of attorney to sign on behalf of INES) and Ms. Marta Pertierra Rodriguez travelled to Dehradun to conduct the negotiation of the draft contract on behalf of INES Ingenieros Consultores, as required by the PIU, who would not accept to hold the negotiation remotely through videoconference.
During the stay of INES representatives in India the following meetings were carried out: Kick off meeting, Project presentation and proposed methodology at the PIU office, Site visit of a representative section, preliminary survey to have a better understanding of the project scope and the contract negotiation that took place at the PIU office. Based on the discussions undertaken the previous days, the formal contract negotiation was conducted on February 7th, 2019. The final agreement and contract signature, however, could not take place due to the absence of Dr. V Shanmugan, who was on a mission in New Delhi.
INES Ingenieros was required to submit additional information (Letter of confirmation from Key Experts, CVs of non-Key Experts and Certificate of Professional Insurance specific for the project), which was shared with the PIU on February the 18th. The PIU agreed to prepare the contract negotiation minutes and to discuss with the Program Manager the areas that remained open for discussion. Given the silence of the PIU, INES Ingenieros prepared the negotiation minutes and sent them to the PIU on March 5th, 2019.
INES ascertained that they were in no rush to formally award the contract, as the 70 DPRs that were included in the original scope of works had not been developed (64 of them had not even been tendered). INES showed its concern and preoccupation generated by the evident procrastination of the contract negotiation period by the borrower but received in contraposition only deferment by the borrower.
On March 30th, 2019, Savin Bansal as new Program Manager of the PIU (Roads and Bridges, UDRP) informed INES by written notice about the decision of the PIU to change the original scope of works of the project and
The adverse impact that has resulted is the cancelation of the awarding of the contract and several expenses (derived from the trip to Dehradun to conduct the contract negotiation -flight tickets, accommodation-).