Written by Staff Writer
27 Feb, 2019 | 8:28 am
COLOMBO (News 1st) – The proposal to provide tablets for students continues to raise concerns among the public.
Initially in 2017, Rs. 5bn was allocated through the budget to purchase tabs for advance level students and teachers, On June 5th, 2017 tenders were called for the purchase of these tabs.
The company that was selected to supply the tabs through the tender procedure wanted Rs. 6.7 bn for tabs which was Rs.1.7 bn more than the amount allocated. Due to several irregularities in the award of the tender, a number of parties took the matter to the Procurement Appeal Board.
The Procurement Appeal Board ordered the tender to be awarded to the lowest bidder among the remaining bidders.
Unfortunately, the reports claim that the next company that was selected was not the lowest bidder either.
When the matter was taken to the cabinet the President intervened and stressed that the awarding of the tender for tabs should be postponed as the government cannot spend such a large sum on the project due to the prevailing economic crisis.
On February 14th 2019, the proposal was taken up again and the minister requested an additional Rs. 1bn following the depreciation of the rupee.
The sources reveal that again the tender is to be awarded to the same company that bid Rs 6.7 bn and was selected through the tender procedure in 2017.
It is revealed that although the cost is higher, the specs of the tabs are very much the same as in 2017, making them obsolete.
Although the minister and other officials are enthusiastic in issuing tabs to advance level students and teachers they do not have an accepted plan on how to implement the usage of the tabs for academic activities so that it can benefit the end user.
Today(February 26) a Cabinet meeting chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena was held at the Presidential Secretariat regarding this matter.
During the meeting, the President took the decision to form a committee to look into the use of tabs by A/L students.
Ministers Eran Wickramarathne, Harin Fernando, Ajith P. Perera and Akila Viraj Kariyawasam were appointed as members of this committee.
The committee has been advised to compile a report and submit it to the president within a week.
At the same time, President Maithripala Sirisena appointed a committee to look into the construction of the LNG power plant in Kerawalapitiya.
The committee to inquire into the tender procurement process for the construction of an LNG power plant in Kerawalapitiya is to report back in a week.
The committee includes Ministers Patali Champika Ranawaka, Malik Samarawickrama, Ravi Karunanayake and Harsha De Silva.
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