Wednesday, November 30, 2016
The Misuse of Tender Procedure to obtain the required Result!
(Education Publications Department)
EPD has been instructed that they MUST print these two belowsaid books for the 2017 Academic year on this specialized (plasticised long lasting) paper. These instructions have come supposedly from above meaning from the Cabinet and they are NOT to question its rights or wrongs, the staff have just got to follow orders to the letter and not to question the stupidity of the decisions that smack of gross violations!
The Tender was called for on 21st November for a closing date of 30th November, which in itself is BIZARRE TO SAY THE LEAST, as except for the belowsaid two Printers, no one else can supply a tender, as the Machines worth Rs600M have to be ordered, and even more so the paper has to be ordered which will take months to come from Japan, or Malaysia which have this quality, which then has to be approved by a testing laboratory, as being consistent with the tender, in case it is NOT of the specified quality.
It is NOT possible for the Tender awarding body to give a tender to just two who apply, as that clearly smacks of manipulation, and so all the Printers of EPD were asked to submit a tender. They have to pay Rs20,000 in the first place to get the right to tender for a book they know they cannot print, for which they have NO MACHINES, NO PAPER, NO INK, and NO GUM. Straightaway this RAT will make the Media and cause a stink that no one will want to be near to! So it is imperative that this tender is cancelled and reverted to the original awardee to print before School Term begins on January 2nd 2017.
One book is only an 80 page Geography book that does NOT require perfect binding due to size and can be stapled in the middle, but the tender requires perfect binding, which will further increase the cost!
What is the required result? To give a contract to two specified Printers, to print TWO School Books for the 2017 Academic Year, worth Rs100M each to print a quantity of books, using a special plasticized UV coated paper.
Only two printers in Sri Lanka as of 1st December 2016, have the machines capable of printing with this highly specialized paper. They are Softwave and Printcare. They use this paper for specialized printing needs for durable/washable paper for the textile and related industries.
If the normal paper is used, as is done on ALL books at present, then this job can be done for LESS THAN Rs 10M each. NAPCO a printer owned by Thilanga Sumathipala got the initial tender (as lowest bidder) to print these books with the regular paper, but were later told they will NOT be awarded this as the Cabinet has chosen to award it in a different tender with the use of durable paper, so the books will last in excess of 5 years as the paper is durable.
The Cabinet MUST be aware that Thilanga Sumithipala is likely to blow the whistle on this against the UNP colleagues involved in the scam, if this tender is NOT awarded rightly to NAPCO, and it is advisable to IMMEDIATELY instruct the Commissioner General of the Education Publication Department to drop this Instruction and revert to the original plan.
This was supposed to be a pilot project to test if the books in fact last 5 years, but as the cost is more than 500% of the tender for normal paper and therefore NO amendments to the book can be made for at least 5 years, for revisions or corrections, it is NOT an economically justifiable project to undertake. It is important to further understand that the supply of tabs to all students could be done in less time than that, which does away with printing in the first place.
It is also worthy of note that a different Govt. could take a different stand on this printing effort, negating any benefits, that the pilot project expects to achieve to test out.
Accordingly this whole pilot project which is NOT in keeping with proper tender procedures, smacks of some collusion, and Softwave and Printcare could be accused of underhand dealing to get this contract outside of tender procedures, and if we look into backgrounds of the INK and Paper suppliers, there may be more culpability of interested parties, that puts the CBSL Bond Scam in the pale in comparison, leading to a possible fall of the Government.
It is regrettable that the Jokers in the Cabinet get used to approving something out side of their remit of understanding, who through collective responsibility, can be held accountable for fraud caused in collusion with other parties.
These are examples of crooked deals, policy inconsistencies, overriding Good Governance Tender procedures, the people being taken for a ride, all to line a few people’s pockets.
If we as citizens of Sri Lanka don’t stand up for what is right! We are left to ponder why the people who we have sadly elected to HIGH OFFICE have completely fooled us. They ONLY achieve their personal objectives in life, WHICH IS TO ENRICH THEMSELVES at the expense of the General Public from whom they are actually stealing, as the TAXPAYER of Sri Lanka continues to pay for these mistakes, daylight robbery, and poor decision making, completely oblivious to what is going on under their own noses.
It is time to do the ONLY thing that will ensure that the people will NOT be robbed by lifetime politicians, and that is TO ONLY HAVE ONE TERM in office for any elected office throughout their life. What a relief would that make? NO MORE LIFERS WHO DIE IN OFFICE!