Sri Lanka to cancel architects’ consultancy in defence HQ deal

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s government has decided to cancel a consultancy given to an architects’ firm to build a new military headquarters complex without competitive bidding amid concerns over financial irregularities, government spokesman Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said.

Payment made to the architects, Muditha Jayakody Associates (Pvt) Ltd., for consultancy services in the Akuregoda Security Services Headquarters building project in the Battaramulla suburb of Colombo, are being reviewed, he told a news conference.

The decisions were taken after the Cabinet of Ministers examined the report of a government committee appointed to inquire into the consultancy firm and related payments.

“The Committee has observed that the selection of the consultancy firm and their payments have been done without providing true information to the Cabinet of Ministers,” Senaratne said.

The consultancy fee had not been paid according to established government procedure that payment be based on work done instead of on a man-month basis, he said.

Muditha Jayakody Associates (Pvt) Ltd. had not been registered by Sri Lanka’s Institute of Architects at the time it was given the defence project deal by the former Rajapaksa regime, he said.

“The inquiry committee has noted that the firm has a narrow shareholding base and only a single director,” Senaratne said.

Having to bear the entire liability of consultancy services given the complexity of the project was an unacceptable risk, he said.
(COLOMBO, June 22, 2016)

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