Coal procurement; tender awarded to unregistered company in 2022: COPE

Tender to procure coal had been awarded to an unregistered company in 2022, says the report submitted by the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) in Parliament today.

This has been revealed by the report submitted to the House by COPE Chairman Prof. Ranjith Bandara. The report quoted the observations made by the auditor general on coal procurement process.

“It has been observed that the bid submitted by Black Sand Commodities had been as an unqualified one, since  the conditions related to complying with the amendments that have been made to the bidding documents have not been fulfilled, while the said company is not a registered supplier,” the report which quoted auditor general’s observation said.

It has also been noted that Lanka Coal Company (Private) Ltd., sought the opinion of the Attorney General on August 2, 2022 but the tender had been awarded to Black Sand Commodities in place of SUEK AG before receiving the former’s opinion.

Although the contract agreement, included in the bidding documents could be amended for giving to a party who had not been a registered supplier, whereas such an amendment had not been made.

The report also disclosed that the then secretary – the Ministry of Power and Energy had submitted inadvertent information to the auditor general, based on which approval was granted to reduce the bidding period from 42 days to 21 days.

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