Solomons Police Official Denies Procurement Scandal

admin's picture

Permanent secretary says deficient equipment will be replaced free

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Jan. 3, 2014) – The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Police, National Security and Correctional Services Edmond Sikua has denied any scandalous dealings in the procurement of uniforms for the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIP).

Responding to the Sunday Star front page headline "Another Scandal?" on the 29th December 2013, Mr Sikua stated the he will welcome anyone who wishes to investigate the procurement of the uniforms.

Mr Sikua stated that the RSIPF has been spending millions of public funds buying uniforms and equipment from companies in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji in the last 20 years.

"In 2012, the ministry reviewed the process of procuring uniforms and other equipments and realised that some of these companies are not manufacturers but are salesmen," Mr Sikua said.

"It was during this review that Lotus Garments (MFG) Company Limited (Fiji) was identified to be a genuine manufacturer of uniforms and has the ability to source other equipment," he added.

Mr Sikua stated that in view of the involvement of Lotus Garments (MFG) with the RSIPF for the last 20 years, the Ministry of Police, National Security and Correctional Service entered into a Contractual Agreement on the 28th November 2012 for the supply of uniforms and equipments.

"This agreement is a result of the decision of the Central Tender Board (CTB) to award a two-year service contract for Lotus Garments (MFG) for the supply of uniforms, accessories and other requirements to the RSIPF and CSSI for fixed prices attached to the agreement.

"The tender processes under the Finance Act have been duly followed to procure Police uniforms," he said.

Mr Sikua added that the prices offered by Lotus Garments (MFG) are 50% lower than those offered by salesmen from other companies and in accordance with the agreement; Lotus Garments (MFG) cannot increase the price in the duration of the agreement.

He said that the issue regarding the quality of goods supplied and sizes are covered under the manufactures warranty.

"Any defects will be fully replaced at no cost to RSIPF.

"The Ministry is also fully aware of certain Police Officer’s who are not pleased that Lotus Garments (MFG) was awarded the tender for the supply of uniforms for the RSIPF.

"These Police officers have been benefiting from other companies. These Police officers have also been benefiting from middlemen involved in the hiring of ships to transport fuel to Police stations in the Provinces.

"The ministry has since 2012 disallowed the use of these middlemen and therefore impacted on these officers personal benefits."

Mr Sikua said that four containers of uniform and other equipment have arrived and the RSIPF have commenced the distribution of uniforms to all Police Officers in Honiara and the Provinces.

He added that the supply of these uniforms and equipment indicated the Solomon Islands Government’s commitment in ensuring that Police Officers are fully equipped and properly dressed.

He assured the RSIPF that issues regarding sizes and the quality of boots will be dealt with and replaced at no cost to the RSIPF and Solomon Islands Government in accordance with the Service Agreement.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment