Perform Or Perish: Now, Railway Contractors’ Efficiency To Be Appraised By Project Engineers, To Boost Quality, Safety

by Arun Kumar Das - May 25, 2020 10:49 AM +05:30 IST
Perform Or Perish: Now, Railway Contractors’ Efficiency To Be Appraised By Project Engineers, To Boost Quality, Safety Indian Railways employees work on a railway track in dense fog in New Delhi. (Photo Credit: RAVEENDRAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Snapshot
  • For all works completed from April 2016 to March 2020, contractor performance appraisal report shall be filled in for any contract having original value of Rs 10 crore or more, says engineering directorate framework.

Aiming at identifying good or bad contractors and enforcing accountability, Indian Railways has introduced a system of performance appraisal of all contractors, a first in the rail sector.

According to a letter issued by the Railway Board, now contractor performance appraisal report shall be written by engineer-in-charge of the work based on certain criteria, a step being understood to have far-reaching consequences.

“It has been decided to develop a contractor database covering all infrastructure departments on the basis of contractor performance,” the letter sent on May 19 to all concerned said.

According to the framework devised by the Civil Engineering directorate to judge contractors’ performance, “For all works completed from April 2016 to March 2020, contractor performance appraisal report (CPAR) shall be filled in for any contracts having original contract value of Rs 10 crore or more.”

However, performance appraisal report of all zonal contractors irrespective of their value shall be filled in for the above period.

The latest directive of railways is likely to raise a debate whether this would strengthen the power of the engineer-in-chief or put pressure on contractors to finish work in time.

From April 2020 onwards, CPAR would be filled in by the concerned engineer-in-charge for all contractors including zonal contractors irrespective of the value of contracts.

Contractor performance appraisal report shall be written based on the criteria based on speedy execution of work, quality of work executed and attitude towards safety of man and machine among other factors.

Besides, the tendency towards raising disputes unnecessarily and financial soundness and resourcefulness of the agency are other criteria to judge contractor performance.

Each of these aspects would have an equal weightage of 20 marks, aggregating to a total of 100 marks.

For judging performances of contractors, detailed guidelines have been issued to all concerned authorities including divisional railway managers, Chief Administrative Officers, department heads and zonal heads, said a senior railway official.

The official said, “Performance appraisal reports shall be written by the engineer-in-charge of the work. For each contract, one performance appraisal record of the contractor shall be written after the physical completion of work.”

According to the guidelines, performance would be written by last engineers in charge of the work who looked after the project execution of the contract for not less than six months.

In case the officiating period of the last engineer in charge is less than six months, then previous engineer in charge who looked after the work for at least six months would do the honours.

A system of writing performance appraisal reports of contractors has been developed on e-application — Indian Railway E-Procurement System (IREPS).

Earlier, an attempt was made across all infrastructure ministries to identify good or bad contractors and also to find out habitual litigants.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


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