SLTB spent Rs. 89Mn in excess to buy PCs : COPE

SLTB spent Rs. 89Mn in excess to buy PCs : COPE

SLTB spent Rs. 89Mn in excess to buy PCs : COPE

Written by Amani Nilar

07 Oct, 2021 | 5:15 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); The Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) has spent Rs. 89 million exceeding the estimated amount on the purchase of computers in 2018, the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) said.

The Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) had planned to purchase 139 computers and 74 laptops for the year 2018 at an estimated cost of Rs. 15,290,000, however, had purchased more than that number.

Accordingly, 800 computers and 47 laptops were procured at a cost of Rs. 113,303,750.

As a result, Rs. 89,977,500 was spent on the purchase of computers in 2018, exceeding the estimated amount through the General Accounts of the Transport Board, the COPE Committee notes.

The COPE Committee chair expressed his displeasure over spending of money without due process.

Condemning the act, he further said that an institution which is supposed to serve the poor and innocent people, spending money in this manner cannot be justified.

Moreover, the COPE also noted that an agreement had been entered into with a private company for at a cost of Rs. 33,628,840 to purchase equipment required to maintain the system required for Cameras and GPS for 125 luxury buses.

However, the COPE Committee disclosed that all except for a few of these devices were not working properly.

Officials present at the Committee said that the employees of these buses had deliberately damaged the equipment and that an investigation was being carried out.

They also promised to submit a report as soon as the investigation was completed.

The officials also stated that if the warranty period of the company has not expired, measures will be taken to get all equipment which are not in working condition, to be repaired by the relevant company.

COPE also revealed that a bank loan of Rs. 150,000,000 was obtained on December 24, 2018 at the whim of officials, which should have been obtained at the consent of the Minister of Finance.

COPE also questioned the officials present regarding the failure to present the annual reports for the years 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 in Parliament.

According to the procurement plan for the year 2018, it was planned to purchase 1,000 electronic bus ticket machines at a cost of Rs. 35 million with the approval of the Board of Directors.

However, in 2018, Rs. 75,900,000 was spent to buy 2,000 electronic bus ticket machines.

Accordingly, the 1000 electronic bus ticket machines had been purchased without approval and the Committee noted that these machines had not met the intended objectives.

Therefore, it was recommended that a report be submitted to COPE within a month on this regard.

Also discussed were the issues of several posts in the Board of Directors, the number of 5,921 buses in operation, the number of buses currently out of service and 2,742 buses which are 10 years old.

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