A-G’s Report: Project for EC725 copters not completed on time

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PETALING JAYA: The infrastructure project for the Defence Ministry to house EC725 helicopters at the Kuantan air-force base was not completed, the 2016 Auditor-General Report states.

The report also stated that the contractor had its contract terminated on Dec 8 last year.

“The report has found flaws in the construction and installation of the equipment, as well as the failure in completing the project within the stipulated contract period.

“As a result, the helicopters have to be placed temporarily at the alert hangar and the Hangar 17 Squadron. The officers and staff have also been forced to bunk in at other buildings in several temporary locations within the base,” the report said.

A new tender exercise will be initiated to complete the remainder of the project.

The second series of the report was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat today.

The ministry had planned the project in 2010 for operational, maintenance and placement purposes simultaneously with the purchase of the EC725 helicopters.

A total of 12 helicopters valued at RM1.43 billion were received in stages, beginning Dec 2012 until May 2014. Eight had been placed at the Kuantan base, while another four in Labuan.

An open tender exercise, using the design and build method, was carried out between March 31, 2011, and June 6, 2011, with Bella Builders Sdn Bhd (BBSB) securing the tender.

The contract was worth RM108.89 million, with the contract period starting from October 11, 2011, to March 11, 2013, for partial completion, and August 14, 2013, for full completion.

BBSB had been granted three extensions of time for partial completions, until May 22, 2014, and another extension for a full completion with the expected date on Jan 31, 2014.

However, the report stated that BBSB failed to complete work after the extended deadlines had passed, due to a dispute in the design of the hangar.

“The project was only 70.7% completed, as of May 22, 2014,” the report stated.

For the infrastructure project to be completed fully, the auditor-general has recommended that a proper tender evaluation of the contractor’s ability be carried out.