PAC: Blacklist consultant, contractor of Batu Pahat hospital upgrading

Batu-Pahat-hospitalKUALA LUMPUR: The Works Ministry needs to blacklist the consultant and contractor involved in upgrading the Sultanah Nora Ismail Hospital for being negligent and delaying the work, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said.

The PAC, in a statement, said contractors and consultants undertaking government projects, especially health facilities, needed to be chosen based on their financial and technical capabilities.

It said that the appointment and payment to the consultant of this project needed to be reviewed by the finance ministry.

“The PAC asks that the works ministry come up with a report to the professional board on the negligence by the contractor and the consultant,” it said.

The 2014 Auditor-General’s Report had pointed out that the upgrading of the hospital in Batu Pahat was not done in accordance with contract specifications.

As a result, said the report, the work was of such poor quality that the delivery of health services was adversely affected.

PAC had met on the matter on April 19, and had called the works ministry’s secretary-general, who was represented by deputy secretary-general (policy and development) Abdul Razak Jaafar, and health ministry secretary-general Chaw Chin Min, to explain the matter.

Among the issues raised were the issuance of a certificate of completion a year earlier, delay due to negligence, indirect losses and the role of the Public Works Department in monitoring the consultant and contractor.

The PAC, in its findings, concluded that even though the project was carried out by direct negotiation, the department should have, from the beginning, scrutinised the weaknesses apparent in several design components of the project, which were found to be unsuitable and not up to standard.

The A-G’s Report had also said four units of lifts costing RM2.03 million were not designed and installed as specified, resulting in difficulties in transporting Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds.

The report cited many other weaknesses in the management of the project, including a delay of 90 days in completing it, the appointment of an inexperienced contractor which affected the quality of construction, and the high cost of transportation services.

Sejagat Bakti Sdn Bhd, the contractor for the upgrading works, was appointed through direct negotation.

The agreement between the Public Works Department and Sejagat Bakti was signed in October 2008. It stipulated that the project was supposed to be completed on December 12, 2010.