The Presidential Secretariat, following complaints of irregularities in a tender award pertaining to the upgrading and construction of a new aircraft refueling facility at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Katunayake, on Saturday suspended the award and called all concerned parties for an inquiry.
Informed sources said some of the other bidders who had objected to the tender being awarded to a Greek company, on grounds it was inexperienced in such work and didn’t meet the prescribed criteria set out in the tender announcement, had complained direct to the Presidential Secretariat.
In a letter dated February 7 and signed by an Assistant Secretary, the Presidential Secretariat had informed one of the complainants to be present on Saturday (18), to investigate the allegation of tender irregularities. No details were available of yesterday’s meeting.
The tender related to the upgrading of the Aviation Refueling Terminal and the existing Fuel Hydrant system by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC).
The development of this facility at the BIA should be carried out by a company with considerable experience and technical expertise, as an unintended spark can ignite the fuel vapour, causing a major fire, an aviation expert told the Sunday Times.
The criteria for selection includes submitting proof that a bidder has carried out fuel terminal construction to the magnitude of US$ 25 million, say CPC unions.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, other bidders who participated in the tender opening, alleged that, members of the Cabinet Approved Procurement Committee (CAPC) and the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) had not properly scrutinised the bid documents and their expertise in handling US$ 25 million-size projects.
In a letter to the CPC Chairman, trade unions noted that the same tender had been called twice- on June 18, 2015 and on April 29, 2016.
The first tender was cancelled by the same CAPC and TEC without any valid reasons.
Bandula Sirimanna | sundaytimes.lk