GFR Consulting Services

GFR-2017 Rule Book for Procurement of Consulting Services


Rule Book

Rule-177: Consulting Service

Consulting Service means any subject matter of procurement (which as distinguished from 'Non- Consultancy Services' involves primarily non-physical project-specific, intellectual and procedural processes where outcomes/ deliverables would vary from one consultant to another), other than goods or works, except those incidental or consequential to the service, and includes professional, intellectual, training and advisory services or any other service classified or declared as such by a procuring entity but does not include direct engagement of a retired Government servant.

Note: These Services typically involve providing expert or strategic advice e.g., management consultants, policy consultants, communications consultants, Advisory and project related Consulting Services which include, feasibility studies, project management, engineering services, finance, accounting and taxation services, training and development etc.

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Rule-178: Reg to hire external professionals, consultancy firms or consultants

The Ministries or Departments may hire external professionals, consultancy firms or consultants (referred to as consultant hereinafter) for a specific job, which is well defined in terms of content and time frame for its completion.

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Rule-179: Reg to hire external professionals, consultancy firms or consultants

This chapter contains the fundamental principles applicable to all Ministries or Departments regarding engagement of consultant(s). Detailed instructions to this effect may be issued by the concerned Ministries or Departments. However, the Ministries or Departments shall ensure that they do not contravene the basic rules contained in this chapter.

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Rule-180: Identification of Services required to be performed by consultants

Engagement of consultants may be resorted to in situations requiring high quality services for which the concerned Ministry/ Department does not have requisite expertise. Approval of the competent authority should be obtained before engaging consultant(s).

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Rule-181: Preparation of scope of the required Consultant(s)

The Ministries/ Departments should prepare in simple and concise language the requirement, objectives and the scope of the assignment. The eligibility and prequalification criteria to be met by the consultants should also be clearly identified at this stage.

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Rule-182: Estimating reasonable expenditure

Ministry or Department proposing to engage consultant(s) should estimate reasonable expenditure for the same by ascertaining the prevalent market conditions and consulting other organisations engaged in similar activities.

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Rule-183: Identification of likely sources

(i) Where the estimated cost of the consulting service is up to Rupees twenty-five lakhs, preparation of a long list of potential consultants may be done on the basis of formal or informal enquiries from other Ministries or Departments or Organisations involved in similar activities, Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Association of consultancy firms etc.

(ii) Where the estimated cost of the consulting services is above Rupees twenty-five lakhs, in addition to(i) above, an enquiry for seeking 'Expression of Interest' from consultants should be published on Central Public Procurement Portal (CPPP) at www.eprocure.gov.in and on GeM. An organisation having its own website should also publish all its advertised tender enquiries on the website. Enquiry for seeking Expression of Interest should include in brief, the broad scope of work or service, inputs to be provided by the Ministry or Department, eligibility and the pre[1]qualification criteria to be met by the consultant(s) and consultant's past experience in similar work or service. The consultants may also be asked to send their comments on the objectives and scope of the work or service projected in the enquiry. Adequate time should be allowed for getting responses from interested consultants.

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Rule-184: Short listing of consultants

On the basis of responses received from the interested parties as per Rule 183 above, consultants meeting the requirements should be short listed for further consideration. The number of short listed consultants should not be less than three.

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Rule-185: Preparation of Terms of Reference (TOR)

The TOR should include

(i)Precise statement of objectives.

(ii) Outline of the tasks to be carried out.

(iii)Schedule for completion of tasks.

(iv)The support or inputs to be provided by the Ministry or Department to facilitate the consultancy.

(v) The final outputs that will be required of the Consultant.

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Rule-186: Preparation and Issue of Request for Proposal (RFP)

RFP is the document to be used by the Ministry/Department for obtaining offers from the consultants for the required service. The RFP should be issued to the shortlisted consultants to seek their technical and financial proposals. The RFP should contain:

(i)A letter of Invitation

(ii) Information to Consultants regarding the procedure for submission of proposal.

(iii) Terms of Reference (TOR).

(iv) Eligibility and pre-qualification criteria in case the same has not been ascertained through Enquiry for Expression of Interest.

(v)List of key position whose CV and experience would be evaluated.

(vi) Bid evaluation criteria and selection procedure.

(vii)Standard formats for technical and financial proposal.

(viii)Proposed contract terms.

(ix)Procedure proposed to be followed for midterm review of the progress of the work and review of the final draft report.

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Rule-187: Receipt and opening of proposals

Proposals should ordinarily be asked for from consultants in 'Two bid' system with technical and financial bids sealed separately. The bidder should put these two sealed envelopes in a bigger envelop duly sealed and submit the same to the Ministry or Department by the specified date and time at the specified place. On receipt, the technical proposals should be opened first by the Ministry or Department at the specified date, time and place.

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Rule-188: Late Bids

Late bids i.e. bids received after the specified date and time of receipt should not be considered.

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Rule-189: Evaluation of Technical Bid

Technical bids should be analysed and evaluated by a Consultancy Evaluation Committee (CEC) constituted by the Ministry or Department. The CEC shall record in detail the reasons for acceptance or rejection of the technical proposals analysed and evaluated by it.

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Rule-190: Evaluation of Financial Bids of the technically qualified bidders

The Ministry or Department shall open the financial bids of only those bidders who have been declared technically qualified by the Consultancy Evaluation Committee as per Rule 189 above for further analysis or evaluation and ranking and selecting the successful bidder for placement of the consultancy contract.

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Rule-191: Methods of Selection/ Evaluation of Consultancy Proposals

The basis of selection of the consultant shall follow any of the methods given in Rule 192 to 194 as appropriate for the circumstances in each case.

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Rule-192: Rule 192 Quality and Cost Based Selection (QCBS)

QCBS may be used for Procurement of consultancy services, where quality of consultancy is of prime concern.

(i)In QCBS initially the quality of technical proposals is scored as per criteria announced in the RFP. Only those responsive proposals that have achieved at least minimum specified qualifying score in quality of technical proposal are considered further.

(ii) After opening and scoring, the Financial proposals of responsive technically qualified bidders, a final combined score is arrived at by giving predefined relative weight ages for the score of quality of the technical proposal and the score of financial proposal.

(iii)The RFP shall specify the minimum qualifying score for the quality of technical proposal and also the relative weightages to be given to the quality and cost (determined for each case depending on the relative importance of quality vis-a-vis cost aspects in the assignment, e.g. 70:30, 60:40, 50:50 etc). The proposal with the highest weighted combined score (quality and cost) shall be selected.

(iv)The weightage of the technical parameters i.e. non- financial parameters in no case should exceed 80 percent.

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Rule-193: Least Cost System (LCS)

LCS is appropriate for assignments of a standard or routine nature (such as audits and engineering design of non-complex works) where well established methodologies, practices and standards exist. Unlike QCBS, there is no weightage for Technical score in the final evaluation and the res

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Rule-194: Single Source Selection/Consultancy by nomination Single Source Selection/Consultancy by nomination

The selection by direct negotiation/nomination, on the lines of Single Tender mode of procurement of goods, is considered appropriate only under exceptional circumstance such as:

(i)tasks that represent a natural continuation of previous work carried out by the firm;

(ii) in case of an emergency situation, situations arising after natural disasters, situations where timely completion of the assignment is of utmost importance; and

(iii)situations where execution of the assignment may involve use of proprietary techniques or only one consultant has requisite expertise.

(iv) Under some special circumstances, it may become necessary to select a particular consultant where adequate justification is available for such single-source selection in the context of the overall interest of the Ministry or Department. Full justification for single source selection should be recorded in the file and approval of the competent authority obtained before resorting to such single-source selection.

(v)It shall ensure fairness and equity, and shall have a procedure in place to ensure that the prices are reasonable and consistent with market rates for tasks of a similar nature; and the required consultancy services are not split into smaller sized procurement.

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Rule-195: Monitoring the Contract

The Ministry/Department should be involved throughout in the conduct of consultancy, preferably by taking a task force approach and continuously monitoring the performance of the consultant(s) so that the output of the consultancy is in line with the Ministry/Department's objectives.

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Rule-196: Public competition for Design of symbols/logos

Design competition should be conducted in a transparent, fair and objective manner. Wide publicity should be given to the competition so as to ensure that the information is accessible to all possible participants in the competition. This should include publication on the website of Ministry/Department concerned, as also the Central Public Procurement Portal. If the selection has been by a jury of experts nominated for the purpose, the composition of the jury may also be notified.

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