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

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 the 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 data base 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 the pressure on contractor to finish the work in time.

From April 2020 onward, CPAR would be filled in by concerned engineer-in-charge for all contractors including zonal contractors irrespective of 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, tendency towards raising dispute unnecessarily and financial soundness and resourcefulness of the agency are other criteria to judge contractor’s performance.

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

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

The official said “Performance appraisal report shall be written by enginneer-in-charge of the work. For each contract, one performance appraisal record of contractor shall be written after the physical completion of the 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 officiating period of last engineer incharge is less than six months then previous engineer incharge who looked after the work for atleast six months would do the honour.

A system of writing performance appraisal report of contracts has been developed on e-application – Indian Railway E-Procurement System (IREPS).

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