I had on March 8, 2009 posted and article titled 'Direct negotiation being blatantly practiced by Defence Ministry despite public resentment', in that I questioned the manner in which the Defence Ministry had proceeded to negotiate directly the award of the Submarine Rescue Services to a construction company (CC) that had in the past been awarded several multi million construction projects with the ministry; reportedly through direct negotiations.
There has been a delay in finalising the award of contract for the submarine rescue services, and I am told that the reason being that there is another bidder that has quoted a much lower contract price than the CC. This alternate bidder is said to be directly involved in the business of submarine rescue operations, unlike the CC that is just an agent for the services.
I am told too that the RMN is not too pleased with the offer made by the CC because the company does not have the experience in offering such services. And being agents, they do not have total control over the services to be rendered by the principal company and furthermore, who in the CC is an expert and an authority in submarine rescue operations. We know that submarine rescue service is a highly specialised and life threatening job and should anything go wrong, I am quite sure the CC will not take on the blame, but will point the finger to the company providing the services. Ask any RMN sub-mariner what all it takes to perform a submarine rescue operations, and beside the RMN, it will only be the company that performs the services, that can provide the answer; not the Directors of the CC.
Being agents, the contract costs will naturally be high i.e. enough to cover the cost paid to the service provider, profits to be earned by the CC and including the silent disbursement of commission to a line of people. And I am quite sure someone in the ministry is also in that line of commission takers. I am told that it is for this very reason that the alternate bidding company is able to offer a contract price that is almost half of what the CC is offering, because they were able to shortened the 'line of commission takers' and the profits may not be so exorbitant.
I am also told that in the award of such 'high profile contracts', it would normally be the civilians in the ministry that calls the shot; not the services. Now, this contract involves lives, and certainly it is beyond the civilians in the ministry to understand what submarine rescue operations is all about. Why not just leave it the professionals i.e. the RMN to decide, and I am quite sure they are capable enough to make a professional decision.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION