Chief Secretary cracks the whip: directs GMADA, PUDA to conduct e-Auctions as per transparent policies of MC
Kanwar Inder Singh/ royalpatiala.in News/ October 24,2023
Chief Secretary, Punjab, Anurag Verma has directed the GMADA and similar authorities like PUDA, PDA, JDA, GLADA, ADA to conduct the e-Auctions of all the properties as per transparent manner, policies of chief minister.
In a letter to Apneet Riyait, IAS, Special Secretary, Housing and Urban Development-cum-Chief Administrator, PUDA,Rajiv Gupta, IAS, Chief Administrator, GMADA, the chief secretary,-cum-administrative Secretary, Housing and Urban Development, Punjab has pointed out serious shortcomings in the existing e-Auction solution being used by PUDA/GMADA and similar authorities.
In a strongly worded letter to the officers of the housing and urban department, chief secretary warned the concerned officers that, “it shall be your personal responsibility to ensure that all e-Auctions of GMADA and other Authorities of Housing and Urban Development Department are conducted only on a platform/system certified to be fully secure by National Informatics Centre (NIC) as well as Department of Governance Reforms. This is necessary to ensure that GMADA/similar Authorities earn maximum revenue and also that nobody is able to raise any finger at e-Auctions of GMADA and similar Authorities.”
Chief secretary action came after he seek a report from the National Informatics Centre (NIC) and the officers pointed out various discrepancies in the e-Auctioning portal of the GMADA, PUDA and similar authorities.
The NIC authorities has raised points and alerted the authorities that “ e-Auction platform seems insecure and highly vulnerable to cyber security threats along with other loopholes in the system. Immediate measures and enforcement to plug vulnerable points are warranted to avoid any cyber attack or possible manual manipulation.”
Chief Secretary cracks the whip: directs GMADA, PUDA to conduct e-Auctions as per transparent policies of CM and issued stern warning to them to adhere to the govt policies of working in transparent manner as the state govt is against the corruption and corrupt practices.
When contacted chief secretary Anurag Verma, he said ” CM has given clear instructions to all departments to ensure utmost transparency in govt functioning . Thus these strict instructions have been passed.”
A senior officer of Housing and Urban Development Department , on the condition of anonymity said,” the e-Auction of GMADA, PUDA and similar authorities might be halted till the portal gets fully secure as per the NIC guidelines as no official is going to take responsibility for any lapse.”
As per available information, the GMADA, PUDA and similar authorities’ e-Auction platform was not fully secured. E-Auction solution of PUDA has been implemented by nextTenders (agency) since 2017. The portal was last security audited in the year 2017, that too on the request of PUDA. The guidelines recommend application security audit once in a year at least or after every upgrade year were not implemented.
“There is no encryption mechanism during transmission. The portal does not have two-factor authentication for bidders. Database logs are separately provided by agency to PUDA for audit which are never scrutinized said an official on the condition of anonymity.