Government of West Bengal
Audit Branch (Group T)
No. 1480-F(Y) Date: 01.04.2020
Sub: Emergency procurement related to COVID19 operation.
Government of West Bengal is taking all necessary measures to effective address the health emergency that has occurred due to outbreak of COVID 19 disease in the State.
2. It is felt that for requiring emergent purchases, within a very short period of time, it may difficult to observe Rule 47(8) of West Bengal Financial Rules and other relevant Financial Rules due to the following possibilities:
i. The prevailing health emergency requires immediate procurement of certain items in quantities which may not be available with a single supplier and/or within the time frame in which they are needed.
ii. There is also a possibility that some items may not be available in the state in sufficient quantity within the time frame in which they are needed.
iii. There may be variations in specifications within the same category of items and hence price differences may sometimes reflect differences in specifications or quality.
But, being a national health emergency of unprecedented and historic scale, delays in procurement may result in loss of lives of citizens. Hence there is a paramount public interest in ensuring that the necessary supplies are procured in the fastest possible manner.
3. Therefore, in view of the urgency involved in the procurement of medical and other essential supplies the following special relaxations are allowed for any urgent purchases related to COVID-19 operations: –
i. Procurement may be undertaken under Rule 47(14) of West Bengal Financial Rules from more than one source simultaneously if the entire quantity required is not available or not immediately available from one source. Such procurement may be made at different rates, if unavoidable.
ii. If the entire quantity required is not immediately available from any one method of procurement, procurement may also be resorted to simultaneously by multiple methods, namely, procurement under Rule 47(14)(2a) or (2b) of West Bengal Financial Rules, as the case may be, or by following Rule 47(B) of West Bengal Financial Rules or through GeM. Such procurement may also be made in different rates, if unavoidable.
iii. No concurrence of Finance Department will be required for making procurements as per above processes in respect of “Essential supplies” for COVID 19 operations by any Department of Government of West Bengal or its subordinate authority. The items to be considered under “Essential supplies” for COVID 19 operations will be determined by the fund sanctioning Department.
iv. The procuring authority is allowed to procure “Essential supplies” for COVID 19 operations by following above methods and upto the extent of fund available for that purpose.
v. Procurement of “Essential supplies” for COVID 19 operations may be done in relaxation of existing Delegation of Financial Powers Rules.
vi. Secretaries, if they feel necessary, may constitute committees of officers to deal with and recommend and/ or decide any of these matters.
This order takes effect retrospectively from 12th March 2020 and shall remain in force till 30th April, 2020 or till superseded by another order, whichever is earlier.
Sd/- H.K. Dwivedi
Additional Chief Secretary to the
Government of West Bengal