ISLAMABAD - The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday was informed that the unjustified auction of franchises by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for Pakistan Super League (PSL) was causing loss of $11 million to the Board.

In the meeting of the PAC, chaired by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senior leader Rana Tanvir, the audit official said that the auction of the franchises in PSL was completely against the international as well as national laws.

The audit official further informed the PAC that the Rule 40 of PPRA Rules says that there shall be no negotiations with the bidder having submitted the lowest evaluated bid or with any other bidder; adding that PCB through negotiations had finalised the franchises which was against the procurement rules.

While citing the importance of international rules in such situation, the audit official stated that United Nations’ Commission on International Trade Law under Article 35 clarified that no negotiations shall take place between the procuring entity and a supplier or contractor with respect to a tender submitted by the supplier or contractor.

The audit official, while briefing the committee, said that PCB’s own constitution also prohibited such unjustified auction under the Para 32(4) part V which says that while framing any such regulations, the Board shall follow the international best practices and standards to ensure transparency and accountability.

On the matter, the PCB officials replied that before floating the tender’s reserve prices were fixed by an in-house committee; adding that six bidders took part for five teams and none of the bidders offered the reserved price.

The PCB official continued that it was apprehended by the PCB management that if rebidding was announced then there will be no bidders and the old bidders might offer the fewer amounts than they had offered earlier.

Almost all the members of the committee were not satisfied by the reply of the PCB officials and termed the arguments of the PCB officials as nothing more than excuses.

Earlier in the meeting, the PAC members were greatly annoyed over the failure of PCB to submit the Special Audit Report the committee despite its directives.

During the meeting, PCB Chairman Ihsan Mani told the committee that he had not received the notice for submitting Special Audit Report to the committee.

While reacting to Ihsan Mani’s statement, PTI senior leader and member of the committee Noor Alam Khan said that if he did not have knowledge of the PCB affairs, then he was not supposed to attend the PAC meetings.

Noor Alam Khan said that they were not here for meaningless discussions or recoveries, but to hold responsible those involved in any wrongdoing.

Leader of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Sherry Rehman asked the chairman PCB that who was responsible then if you are dragging your feet from taking responsibility of such important matters.

Another member of the committee, while commenting on the alleged embezzlement in PCB, said that the corruption of PCB officials would be exposed once the committee received the Special Audit Report from the Board.