Awarding a multi-million rupee tender to the highest bidder by a top port official for the supply of dredger tracking system for the Hansakawa dredger of the Colombo Port while the tender board had approved the lowest bidder, has become the topic of discussion among shipping and port circles, senior official sources said.
The tenders were submitted by companies, I. H. C. Holand - 421,350 Euros (52 million rupees), Rason BV, Netherlands - 407,060 Euros (50 million rupees), Miltread Technology, Singapore 288,618 US Dollars (28 million rupees) and examined by the tender board and the technical evaluation committee appointed for the purpose. Both the tender board and the technical evaluation committee had recommended the tender of the lowest tender but violating all regulations and accepted tender procedure practices the highly placed port official has approved the tender of the highest bidder, shipping sources said.
The high official had forced the tender board members to recommend the highest bidder which has caused a loss of 24f million rupees.
The company who had submitted the highest tender has so far not obtained the approval required for the purpose from the Telecom Regulatory Commission which is a prerequisite for the purpose.
There was also a technical problem foreseen by the engineers of the port as the type of dredger tracker to be supplied by the highest bidder will be dependent on a GPS system which the Colombo Port does not have, sources said.
In the past also there was a scandal regarding the award of a tender for the supply of a computer network for Jaye Container Terminal when the highest placed official of the port awarded the tender to the highest bidder and it had to be cancelled by higher authorities but losing Japanese Aid of 1300 million rupees awarded to the Ports Authority at the time.
By that time the Ports Authority had spend another 200 million as consultancy fees, sources also said