Process for e-procurement in Indian Oil Corporation:
Indian Oil Corporation has introduced an e-tendering system for vendors to bid for and procure items using the internet. The advantages of the portal are:
• The tendering cycle time is reduced
• Indirect costs decrease
• The process is secure and transparent
The then Finance Minister proposed e-tendering in India, in 2007, to make the tendering process more transparent. The purpose of introducing e-procurement in India was to ensure an unbiased and nondiscriminatory process for procurement of goods and services by various governmental organisations.
Digital signature certificates are mandatory for participating in e-tenders. Digital signatures are codes which can be attached to electronic documents and electronically transmitted messages. Just like signatures are used to verify the identity of an individual, digital signatures are used to confirm the identity of the bidder/ vendor. Only certifying authorities (CAs), authorised by the Controller of Certifying Authorities of India, can issue valid class 3 digital signature certificates which can be used to participate in the IOCL e-tendering process.
The CAs play an extremely critical role in ensuring security in online transactions such as electronic commerce and submitting bids for e-tenders. The CA may have an agreement with financial institutions such as a credit card companies. The financial company shares information to confirm the applicant’s identity. Through the use of digital certificates CAs guarantee that the identity of individuals/ parties exchanging information is authenticated.
The vendors have to register on the official portal of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) to participate in the e-tendering process. Registration for IOCL e-tenders is very simple. The bidders have to fill up the registration form on the ‘Tenders’ page.
On the e-tendering portal, the tenderers can view all the tenders listed and download the tender schedules without any additional expenses. The website is user friendly and also provides a feature to locate tenders on parameters such as tenders based on value, department, product category, etc. There is an option to view tenders which will close on the same day, within the next seven days and within the next fourteen days. The portal has details related to all the corrigendums published for tenders.
The portal uses the vendor’s details for configuration of the system so that, they receive only relevant information related to tenders. The department personnel also use these details for evaluation of tender bids.
For all Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) online tenders the bids have to be submitted online. The bidding companies/ individuals need to submit original documents, as mentioned on the Indian Oil Corporation e-procurement portal, in the tender box or at the Indian Oil Corporation office.
Security features in the e-procurement portal for Indian Oil Corporation:
1) Only authorised individuals can log in on the portal.
2) The application ensures that all the activities of authorised individuals are logged.
3) All the data in the documents submitted by the bidders are encrypted. Even the IOCL e-tendering officials can view the bids only when the opening of the bid is due