Ministry of External Affairs ask new bids for passport seva programme

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Representational Image
Representational Image

New Delhi : A recent development claims that the Ministry of External Affairs is looking proposal for 10 year tender to operate its passport issuance programme handed over to Tata Consultancy Services until 2020. The passport seva programme has been flagship technology implementations in the history of Indian citizen services. 

Tata Consultancy Services gained Rs 1,000-crore contract in 2008 which expired in June, this year. Later the contract was extended for two year; the expression of interest document says it all.

“The total transition is expected to take place in a period not less than 6 months. Hence, it is expected that a winning bidder shall take over by early 2020 and subsequently carry out their transition process in a smooth manner,” the document said. A source close to the Ministry of External Affairs said that TCS could re-bid for the project and that the project is open for other bidders as well. 

“This is an expression of interest. There is a meeting for interested bidders on Friday where they can come and clear their doubts. Then a formal ‘request for proposal’ will be issued. The terms of the new contract will be finalised then,” the official said. 

Results to the ‘expression of interest’ will be out on September 17. Experts say it will be a tough job to trade a ‘request for proposal’ that allows a competitive re-bid. In the meantime, Tata Consultancy Services has not given any comment.

“In a project like this, the incumbent would have an understanding to be able to do it more efficiently, because it has already set up the offices and leases. So its cost would be lower. The idea is not to allow an unfair advantage to the incumbent and make it an even field for the other bidders while designing the RFP,” Neel Ratan, regional managing partner at consultancy PwC, told media. “It is a tightrope walk.”