Min. Senaratne questions procedure and payments in Akuregoda Defence HQ project

Min. Senaratne questions procedure and payments in Akuregoda Defence HQ project

Min. Senaratne questions procedure and payments in Akuregoda Defence HQ project

Written by Tharushan Fernando

22 Jun, 2016 | 8:01 pm

Cabinet has approved to immediately suspend the services of the private firm selected for the project to construct the Defence Headquarters complex at Akuregoda.

According to the decision, which was taken based on the recommendations of the committee which investigated the irregularities of this transaction, the payments made to the said firm are to be reviewed.

Co-cabinet Spokesperson,Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne noted that the contract for this project has been handed over to a company called Muditha Jayakody Associates, without any competitive bidding or calling for tenders, so the cost which should be paid to this consultant service is only four percent of the direct construction.

He further pointed out that as there is a procurement procedure of four percent here, the project has been given to this individual for five and a half percent, after taking over the contract and completing work on it.

He added:

Cabinet approval was given to the Defence Headquarters Project on January 25, 2011. This wasn’t even a company when this contract was given to them. And this was the company which was given all architectural planning, and they are not even a member of the Architectural Association.

He further stated that this is a project of the Defence Ministry, but the Cabinet paper says that this is a project of the UDA. He is the only director of this company, and while the total cost for the project is 40 billion, half of the consultancy fees is 2200 million. And if these calculations are made correctly and the project is given to a proper company at a cost of four percent, it would still cost Rs.1600 million. Therefore, they have been paid more for this.

He further stated that the project won’t be suspended and said that  it was decided yesterday that those who cause the loss will be punished but once they are in handcuffs they will show their wrists and say that they are war heroes and that the government is attacking them

When questioned as to who was responsible for this matter, he said  “It is the Defence Secretary”, referring to the defence secretary during that time.

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