By Akhand in Bhubaneswar,Orissa
December 20, 2011: In order to ensure greater transparency and accountability in their major contracts and procurements, Orissa Power generation Corporation (OPGC) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Transparency International India (TII), at Bhubaneswar, this evening. The pact was signed by Managing Director of OPGC, Venkatachalam Kuppusamy and TII Chair, P.S.Bawa at a ceremony attended by Finance Minsiter P.C.Ghadai, Energy Minister, Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Finance secretary, G .Mathivathanan Chairman OPGC and Commissioner cum Secretary Department of Energy Govt of Odisha and many others.
With the signing of this pact, OPGC became the 44th Company in the country to adopt the pact, committing to have most ethical and corruption free business dealings with the counterparties whether they are bidders, contractors or suppliers. Earlier, several PSUs including Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), HPCL, GAIL, Coal India, Oil India, RNIL (Vishakhapatnam), Steel Authority of India Limited, Bharat Refractories Ltd, National Mineral Development Corp., Ferro Scrap Nigam Ltd., Manganese Ore India Ltd., Metal Scrap Trading Corp., Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd., Hindustan Steel Works Construction Ltd., Metallurgical and Engineering Consultants India Ltd., Neyvelli Lignite, Container Corporation, BPCL, Indian Oil, Airports Authority and MTNL have signed this pact.
OPGC is a joint venture of Orissa Government and AES multi-national company and by entering into MoU with TII, are committed to adopting highest standards of ethics in their business dealings. Speaking on the occasion, TII Chair, P.S.Bawa said, “While TII does not give ethical certification to any company, it is hoped that by entering into MoU with us, companies like OPGC will demonstrate their leadership in terms of implementing effective anti-corruption programmes”.
Finance Minsiter P.C.Ghadai , stressed on need of effective monitoring of implementation of IP by TII and concern officials of OPGC , if this implemention became successful it will encourage other state PSUs to adopt IP.
Unlike in the past, TII has recommended external monitors for IP implementation, who will take action in case of any complaint from the bidder. In case of other companies who have entered into MoU with TII for IP implementation, monitors were recommended by CVC.
Integrity Pact is a tool developed by Berlin-based Transparency International for enhancing the degree of fairness and transparency in procurement and contracts, resulting in substantial improvement in the systems and reduction in corruption in public dealings.
It may be mentioned that in 2007, Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) had recommended the adoption of this Pact to Secretaries to the Government of India, and CMDs of Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) in respect of all major procurements. Further, in another meeting, the CVC recommended that, to sustain credibility of the IP process, there should be periodic monitoring of its implementation involving the CEOs and Independent External Monitors (IEMs). Their findings and recommendations will be processed for appropriate actions. Also, the Second Administrative Reforms Commission in its Fourth Report on ‘Ethics in Governance’ had recommended the adoption of Integrity Pact.