DailyPost 2228

While the name of the business enterprise / company contracted upon in any government procurement is known to the world, the backend world of sub-contracting of the same contract always remains in shadows. They are known by a variety of names, lots have been accepted as a part of normal parlance and practice. It can range from a business associate to sub-contractor to channel partner, consortium partner, outsourced company, service provider, piecemeal work provider and the like. While the demonstrated capability of the company getting the contract is only one part of the story, the more tragic part is the sub-letting of work.

There can be a big gap between the paper capability documentation provided with the demonstrated capability validated and tested. When the documents are provided does it ever mention as to what part of the work was actually executed by outsourced agents or the subletters? What are the methods of technical evaluation, monitoring of work and the testing and validation mechanism for the outsourced agent in question. How does the procurement entity get to know the capability of the company when it’s project execution experience has been an accumulation of sub-contracted work? We have been hue and cry of companies getting into areas in which they don’t have expertise and experience.

At least that can found out if the procurement entity so desires, but the subcontracting world works under its own unwritten rules. Most of times it has no legal enablement. Might be it is kept so with a purpose. Whatever may be the reason, the situation is precarious. These rules have become the business mantra of this country and is very religiously followed for the precise reason as there is a fast buck at the end with very little effort. Just imagine of an IT project, a five year long one, in which end to end 28 outsourced entities worked. Even the simplest of the digitization work had become a monumental challenge. What can a project manager do, with literally no project experience.

Body shopping is not the issue, cost cutting end to end is the issue. Everything is supposed to be paperwork which is duly completed by the ”paperwork experts” in the field. When the owner cannot validate the technical requirements and its perfect execution, then who else will do? When the company taking up the project is to outsource it, with barely any credentials or methods to validate the quality of execution, leave aside monitoring it, what can be the result. Morbi’s hanging bridge collapsed, being substandard, *what about the endless substandard works, where nothing happens even when reported. A third-party national tech audit of all projects is a must. Let everyone come clean. Procurement and execution are not a child’s game, it is the bedrock of developmental administration. The earlier understood the better.

Sanjay Sahay

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