BCCI CoA's title sponsorship process raises eyebrows

While an e-auction will only happen if needed, a few officials have raised concerns on possible manipulation and lack of transparency in this new bidding method.

The entire process from purchase of bid documents to final submission will happen online through the MJunction portal. This has raised eyebrows.   -  REUTERS

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) functionaries have decided that the invitation to tender for the BCCI title sponsor will be released on July 29 and it will be done in collaboration with M Junction.

However, officials aren’t happy that the bids will be purchased and submitted online. While an e-auction will only happen if needed, they believe this creates a lack of transparency in the whole process.

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Speaking to IANS, a senior BCCI official said that while the process of e-auction was followed during the bidding for the media rights of Indian cricket, the sudden change in process is against the suggestions under the Lodha reforms which called for complete transparency.

The process as presented by CEO Rahul Johri reads, “Under this Invitation to Tender (ITT), the winning bidder will be granted the right to be the Title Sponsor to the BCCI International and Domestic Matches during the period commencing from September 1, 2019, until March 31, 2023, through Online Bidding process.

“The entire process from purchase of bid documents to final submission will happen online through the MJunction portal. The bids are to be submitted online by uploading the same on the Platform (as defined in the ITT) latest by 11 p.m. on August 19.

“Evaluation of eligibility documents and communication to eligible bidders will take place on August 20. Opening of financial bids followed by online auction (if required) will take place on August 21.”

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“So, you are saying that first the financial bids will be opened and if need arises, e-auction will be done. Transparency clearly goes out of the window. It is natural for doubts to be raised on the procedure. It is shocking to note that a process has been changed and nobody has been informed about it. I hope someone is not trying to favour anyone. They should have straightaway had an e-auction like during the media rights,” the official pointed out.

“The first thing the Lodha panel had proposed was transparency. And now this is happening right under the nose of the CoA which has a former CAG of India. Why this change in process?"

Another BCCI official said this sudden change of process is completely uncalled for.

“When the process of handing BCCI’s media rights was done through e-auction, it fetched a record price. This is because the office-bearers forced the CoA to do the same.

"Why is an e-auction if needed when it should be the only way to conduct the bid? Who changed this process now? The Lodha report clearly says it should be a transparent process. Submitting bids is not transparent as people could influence the bid values before submission," the official asked.

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