BHOPAL: After alleging “conflict of interest” in a Rs 300 crore Smart City tender, BSNL now demands that its competitor, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), be disqualified for “hiding crucial business information”.
Bhopal Smart City Development Corporation Ltd (BSCDCL) has invited bids for cloud-based common integrated data and disaster recovery centres, and setting up integrated command and control centres for smart cities in MP. HPE has already received a letter of intent from BSCDCL for the project, but BSNL isn’t giving up and has written four letters, the last one to the district collector on October 23, challenging the US giant’s bid.
BSNL has written to collector Sudam P Khade that HPE has certainly got the highest scores and may be awarded the tender but before that, the committee “should investigate certain facts”. BSNL’s initial grouse was that PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the consultant for the bid, is HPE’s partner in developing the smart city application, pointing at a conflict of interest. BSNL latest letter wants the evaluation committee to investigate the ‘conflict of interest’ and also the transfer/sale of “Enterprise Services” and “Software” divisions of HPE to DXC technologies and Britain’s Micro Focus.
BSCDCL has answered BSNL on the first point. “As far as the relationship of HP and PwC with regard to setting up a centre of excellence in Kolkata is concerned, the matter has been thoroughly examined and there is no conflict of interest in relation to this RFP and its bid process management activities,” BSCDCL writes, pointing out that PwC was selected by BSCDCL in October 2016 through an open and competitive bidding process and has been working as ICT consultants for other smart city projects as well.
“The evaluation of these seven bids was done by the technical committee constituted by the government and not PwC,” BSCDCL’s CEO Chandramauli Shukla replied, adding: “BSNL has not proposed its own cloud services for the purpose of this bid. It has preferred M/s ESDS as a cloud service provider over its own highly capable and complaint cloud.”
BSDCL also noted that there were no observations, complaints, and protests raised by BSNL during the entire bid process, evaluation or before opening of bids. The protests were lodged after the results wee declared.