PUBLIC CONTRACTS ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

2. Application of the Act to public contracts.

PART I

APPOINTMENT OF PANEL OF INQUIRY AND NOMINATION OF MEMBERS OF TRIBUNAL

3. Appointment of Panel and nomination of members of Tribunal.

4. Powers and duties of the Tribunal.

5. Appointment of Registrar.

6. Duties of the Registrar.

7. Register to be evidence.

PART II

REGISTRATION

8. Persons required to register with the Registrar.

9. Contravention of provisions of section 8 an offence.

10. Application for registration.

11. Certificate of registration.

12. Prohibition of members and officers from dealing with contractors and agents.

13. Notification of changes of particulars furnished under section 6.

14. Cancellation of registration for fraud or on other grounds.

15. Appeal from the decision of the Registrar.

16. Fulfilling obligations under a contract notwithstanding its cancellation or suspension.

PART III

INDUCEMENTS, GRATIFICATIONS, OR THE GRANT OF PUBLIC CONTRACTS OR FOR THE AWARD OF TENDERS

17. Inducements, gratifications or misrepresentations made or offered to any person to obtain benefits in the award of tenders and public contracts.

18. Interference with the Registrar or member of a Panel or Tribunal or public body.

19. Duty to report.

20. Leave to appeal to the Tribunal.

21. Tribunal to report to President.

22. Tribunal to forward report to Attorney General.

23. Persons who disclose classified information.

PART IV

GENERAL

24. Power to summon witnesses.

25. Evidence.

26. Failure to obey summon or to give evidence.

27. Punishment of offence of contempt.

28. Privileges of witnesses.

29. Secrecy.

30. Protection against suit or prosecution.

31. Persons committing offences under this Act to be tribal before a Judge of the High Court.

32. Attorney-General to institute prosecutions.

33. Service of documents.

34. Offence by body of persons.

35. Act to apply to public contracts which have not reached finality.

36. Regulations.

37. Officers and servants of the Tribunal and Registrar deemed to be public officers.

38. Tribunal to furnish reports to the President.

39. Acts and decisions of the Tribunal.

40. Proceedings of Tribunal.

41. Powers of Registrar to give general or special directions.

42. Oath or affirmation.

43. Contravention of provision of an offence.

44. Penalty for offence for which no penalty is prescribed.

45. Interpretation.

SCHEDULES

3 of 1987.

AN ACT to provide for the registration of public contracts and persons who tender or enter into public contracts with any public body; for the appointment of a panel of inquiry and the nomination of members to constitute a tribunal to investigate into matters connected with public contracts; and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

[Date of Commencement: 30th January 1987]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Public Contracts Act.

2. Application of the Act to public contracts.

(1) Subject to subsection (2), the provisions of this Act shall apply to every public contract where the contract cost exceeds five million rupees.

In this subsection "contract cost” means the anticipated or estimated consideration for such contract and where such contract has been concluded by acceptance of tender, the agreed consideration for such contract and accordingly, where the contract is for the performance in instalments, the consideration shall be the aggregate of the amounts payable in respect of such instalments.

(2) The provisions of this Act shal1 not apply—

(a) to any public contract or any class of public contracts that the President may in the interest of national economy, exempt by general or special order;

(b) to a sale by public auction by any public body.

PART I

APPOINTMENT OF PANEL OF INQUIRY AND NOMINATION OF MEMBERS OF TRIBUNAL

3. Appointment of Panel and nomination of members of Tribunal.

(1) The President may from time to time appoint from among persons who appear to the President to have had experience and shown capacity in industrial, commercial, legal or financial and administrative matters, a Panel of inquiry of not less than ten persons.

(2) The provisions of the First Schedule hereto shall have effect in relation to the members of the Panel.

(3) For the purpose of carrying out any investigation under this Act, the President may nominate one or more members of the Panel to constitute a tribunal of inquiry (in this Act referred to as the "Tribunal”).

(4) Where more than one member of the Panel have been nominated to the Tribunal, the President may nominate one of them as the Chairman of the Tribunal.

(5) Where a Tribunal is constituted under this section, the Registrar of Public Contracts appointed under section 1 shall function as the Secretary to the Tribunal.

4. Powers and duties of the Tribunal.

(1) The Tribunal shall have and may exercise and discharge the powers and duties conferred or imposed upon it by this Act, and in particular the following—

(a) to investigate and report to the President subject to such directions as may be given by him on any matter relating to any public contract;

(b) to summon any person before the Tribunal and to direct any person to disclose any information within his knowledge or produce any book or document in his possession or under his control in relation to any investigation under paragraph;

(c) to require by notice in writing the chief executive officer or the person in charge of any public body or any public or private company to produce or furnish, any document or certified copy of any document, as may be specified in such notice, which is or may be in his possession or under his control;

(d) to give general or special directions in writing requiring any person to comply with all or any of the provisions of this Act; and

(e) to do all other things, necessary to facilitate the carrying out of any investigation under this Act.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law, it shall be the duty of any person to whom a request, summons or directive is made or given under this section, to forthwith or within the time specified therein to comply with the same and if he fails to do so without reasonable excuse he shall be guilty of the offence of contempt against or in disrespect of the authority of the Tribunal.

5. Appointment of Registrar.

(1) For the purpose of this Act, the President shall appoint a person to be known as the Registrar of Public Contracts (hereinafter referred to as the "Registrar”) and such other persons as Assistant Registrars as may be deemed necessary.

(2) Any person appointed as an Assistant Registrar may perform and discharge any power, duty or function expressly conferred or imposed upon the Registrar under this Act.

6. Duties of the Registrar.

(1) The duties of the Registrar shall be—

(a) to register—

(i) every tenderer or every person who acts as an agent, sub-agent, representative or nominee, for and on behalf of such tenderer;

(ii) every public contract; and

(b) to require any person referred to in sub-paragraph (i) of paragraph (a) to furnish such particulars as specified in the Second Schedule hereto accompanied by a duly sworn affidavit;

(c) to maintain one or more registers which shall contain the particulars furnished under paragraph (b);

(d) to require any person registered under sub-paragraph—

(i) of paragraph (a) (i) to maintain such books and records as the Registrar considers necessary for the proper enforcement and administration of this Act and the regulations made thereunder; and

(ii) to file with the Registrar returns, with respect to their financial position and the nature of the proposed public contract and such other matters as the Registrar may consider necessary.

(2) The Registrar shall from time to time, make all such corrections, additions or alterations as may be necessary, to the registers maintained by him under paragraph (c) of subsection (1).

7. Register to be evidence.

The particulars entered in the register maintained by the Registrar shall be prima facie evidence, of any matters by this Act directed or authorised to be inserted therein.

PART II

REGISTRATION

8. Persons required to register with the Registrar.

(1) Any person who acts as an agent or sub-agent, representative or nominee for or on behalf of any tenderer, shall register himself and such public contract in accordance with section 10 and shall furnish to the Registrar the particulars required to be furnished under section 6.

(2) Where any person is an agent, sub-agent, representative or nominee for or on behalf of a tenderer he shall first produce a certificate of his appointment as agent, sub-agent, representative or nominee to the Registrar before he registers himself and the public contract under this section,

9. Contravention of provisions of section 8 an offence.

(1) Every person who contravenes or fails to comply with the provisions of section 8 shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of one hundred thousand rupees and to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

(2) No person required to be registered under section 8 shall have any dealing directly or indirectly relating to a public contract—

(a) with the Registrar except for the purpose of registration; or

(b) with any member of a public body, a technical committee, tender Board or evaluation Board of such body or any officer or employee thereof or any State officer,

without first producing a valid certificate of registration under this Act and if such person has any dealings or attempt to have any dealings he shall be guilty of an offence and liable, on conviction thereof, to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand rupees or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

10. Application for registration.

(1) Every application for registration under section 8 shall be made in the prescribed form and shall contain a declaration by the applicant that the particulars stated therein are to the best of his knowledge true and accurate,

(2) The Registrar, shall, upon being satisfied that the applicant has not contravened any of the provisions of this Act and the particular stated in the application are true and accurate, register the applicant and the public contract to which such application relates.

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