Irregularities in Bintulu Port Authority under spotlight

A file photo of Bintulu Port.

KUCHING, Nov 28: The National Audit Department (NAD) has highlighted several weaknesses in procurement management by the Bintulu Port Authority (BPA) in approving a RM1.247 billion project without a comprehensive story.

According to Bernama’s report, the Auditor-General Report 2016 Series 2 pointed out many irregularities and suggested that the Transport Ministry instruct the BPA board conduct a detailed investigation and report to the enforcement agencies if there were criminal elements.

Besides that, the report said the ministry should order BPA to review the compliance and monitoring mechanism to avoid any misconduct in its internal procurement management.


The report, which was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, also detected the approval of three procurements for jobs worth RM1.452 billion without prior financial allocations, four procurements valued at RM1.467 billion without open tender, and conducting direct negotiations without the consent of the Finance Ministry.

“NAD found several weaknesses in the direct negotiation process; tender process; consultant and contractor appointment and contract clauses.

“Besides these, consultancy fees were not supported by complete documents and the board of directors’ instructions to postpone the supply base project were not complied with,” said the report.

The report said there were also elements of fraud in the preparation of the minutes of a meeting for a tender, and resolutions in a letter relating to it had influenced the Transport Minister to approve the appointment of Muhibbah Viccana Joint Venture (MVJV), a joint venture company between Muhibbah Engineering (M) Bhd and Viccana Sdn Bhd, as contractor.

An audit by the department on procurement for construction of a wharf at the Supply Base Project in the Second Basin of Bintulu Port worth RM1.247 billion found there were two sets of minutes of separate meetings provided by the BPA general manager and the meeting’s secretariat for the 1/2016 board of directors’ meeting.

“During the No. 1/2016 Board of Directors meeting on March 29, the board of directors had agreed that the minutes provided by the secretariat was more accurate and the meeting agreed to approve the minutes.

“While the audit on the minutes of the meeting provided by the general manager found the meeting’s decision on the MVJV appointment was contrary to the decision recorded by the meeting’s secretariat, namely by the planning and commercial manager,” said the report.

The report said MVJV’s appointment letter that was sent to the minister was only signed by three directors, the chairman, deputy chairman and general manager, while eight board members were present at the meeting (Board Meeting No. 7/2016). — DayakDaily