The Delhi government, following a nod by the state cabinet on Tuesday, is set to invite tenders on infrastructure projects using the Swiss Challenge method.
Bidding on the basis of the Swiss Challenge method is popular in European countries. Also, some major infrastructure projects in South Asia like the Yongin-Seoul Expressway in South Korea are successful examples of the method.
In the Swiss Challenge method, private players plan a project and submit an unsolicited or suo motu proposal to undertake it. The government then invites counter-proposals. The most “innovative idea” bags the contract.
The Delhi government on Tuesday agreed to implement the method in 10 departments — transport, housing, communication, redevelopment board, roads, water, tourism, environment, security and solid-waste management.
Officials said the method had been approved by the Supreme Court and the Central Vigilance Commission.
“Infrastructure projects are usually conceptualised and planned by the government. The private sector comes in during the financing and implementation stage, leaving little scope for innovation of the concept. In some cases, the private player itself plans the project and submits unsolicited proposals, but the government faces a challenge in evaluating such unsolicited projects due to lack of competition and transparency. Hence, the most common system governments in several countries in the West use to manage unsolicited proposals is the Swiss Challenge method,” said a senior government official.
Officials admitted while there were risks related to transparency or fair competition, the method was useful where governments had limited technical and financial capacity to develop projects.
It also promoted innovation, they said.
At least five states — Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh — have taken steps to implement the Swiss Challenge method.
What is Swiss Challenge method
* Pvt players plan project and submit unsolicited or suo motu proposal to undertake it
*Govt then invites counter-proposals. The most innovative idea bags the contract