High level probe begins into Pidurutalagala Radar Center tender bender

High level probe begins into Pidurutalagala Radar Center tender bender

14 February 2020 09:19 pm

A special investigation has been launched in to irregularities and malpractices committed during the awarding of a tender to French Company for the Design, Supply and Installation of Self Supporting Communication Tower for Radar & Communication Engineering Center at Pidurutalagala.

Minister Prasanna Ranatunge has directed the secretary to the Ministry of Industrial Export, Investment Promotion and Civil Aviation Ms S.M. Mohamed to conduct an investigation and submit a report relating to the tender procedure with in two weeks.

Several complaints have been received by the minister on two French officials of the company for exerting various pressure and influence in  an attempt to win the tender.

It has been revealed that two other foreign companies have submitted bids  for the same tender quoting low prices than the French company. 

The Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd. (AASL) has suspended the awarding of a tender to a French company which has a dubious record internationally,

AASL Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) had been considering the awarding of a planned radar system in Piduruthalagala to a French company called Thales Group, despite its chequered history, until the intervention of the AASL Chairman Major General (Rtd.) G.A. Chandrasiri.

Upon the receipt of a complaint made by the Retired Engineers Association (REA), General Chandrasiri had suspended the awarding of the tender and ordered an internal investigation into the tender process.

The bids were closed on 15 November 2018. According to the letter, the three companies were Thales Group – a French multinational company, Leonardo – an Italian company, and Indra Sistemas – a Spanish company. These companies design and build electrical systems and provide services for the aerospace, defence, and security markets.

The lowest bids were received from Indra and Leonardo which were Rs. 44 million each. Thales’ bid for this project was Rs. 42 million higher than the other two bidders at Rs. 86 million.

Despite the higher bidding price, Thales was the frontrunner in the evaluation process, according to a reliable source who wished to remain anonymous.

Further to this, the letter highlights that the TEC was manipulated by two senior officials of the AASL.