On September 24th, 2013, this blog exposed a typical leakage in a contract for Custom's IT system called as U-Customs. [Read again here]
After Customs's had set the technical specifications and short listed the tenders by the technical merits and ranked it, it is send to the Ministry of Finance (MoF). They are supposed to rank the tenders by pricing and determine the most rightful tender to win.
However, there is a funny bit and that is where the leakage which allowed those with the insider contacts to steal the tender from the rightful winner.
Prior to reaching the Tender Committee chaired by Najib, the papers and documents have to be sent to a committee of Little Napoleans.Part of the manipulation by the Little Napoleans is to justify their bias preference for a certain company. When it is being questioned, they have the "bureaucratic-style answers" which serves to answer with the minimal of disclosure and to end the issue immediately.
The Little Napoleans will would vet through Customs review and make their own recomendation. It would be usually strange for user comment to be far different from the Little Napoleans'.
Usually Najib and the Committee of top level government officers sometimes including MoF II would merely approve as recommended by the Little Napoleans.
That is an art by itself.
Don't make any assumption cause we hardly know this former MCA, Gerakan, etc. There are some 13 or 14 tenderers thus he could have sourced the information from any of them.
The following is the answer as prepared and provided by the Little Napoleans:
Jawapan Parlimen Syarikat Brilliance Information Customs 12/11/2013
Dr. Ong Kian Ming [ Serdang ] minta MENTERI KEWANGAN menyatakan kenapa Syarikat Brilliance Information diberikan projek Pembangunan Sistem U-Customs untuk Jabatan Kastam dan Eksais Diraja Malaysia yang bernilai RM345 juta yang bukan merupakan tawaran yang terbaik dari segi teknikal ataupun termurah.
Perolehan projek Pembagunan Sistem U-Customs telah dilaksanakan secara tender terbuka. Tender ini telah ditawakan kepada Syarikat Brilliance Information yang menawarkan harga kedua terendah kerana tawaran syarikat ini memenuhi sebahagian besar spesifikasi teknikal yang ditetapkan oleh Jabatan Kastam Diraja Malaysia iaitu aktiviti perkastaman dan fasilitasi perdagangan berbanding syarikat yang menawarkan harga terendah.
Petender yang menawarkan harga terendah tidak memenuhi keperluan Jabatan Kastam Diraja Malaysia kerana menawarkan front end yang meliputi single window dan fasilitasi pengilangan sahaja serta Public Key Infrastructure yang tidak menepati Akta Tandatangan Digital 1997. Cadangan petender ini memerlukan banyak pengubahsuaian untuk diselaraskan dengan semua keperluan perkastaman yang mana akan menyebabkan kos yang lebih tinggi kepada Kerajaan.
With that answer, Kian Ming was unable to reply.
It was done ash open tender and the lowest tender did not meet the specification. How is anyone in public to question the technical issues involved and whether the claim is true?
So they only make unsubstantiated accusation using simplistic assumptions and conclusions like Jesvan Kaur did in in FMT. To accuse, one must be able to lay some fact.
Brilliance Information is NOT the second lowest as claimed. MoF lied!
There are four other companies with lower bid than Brilliance Information. Our informer said that Brilliance is placed at around 3rd or 4th among the short-listed ones.
Assuming the technical shortfalls of the lowest tenderer is true (in which may not be since all the shortlisted one have Digicert), the fact also is Briliance Information comes 3rd or 4th in terms of technical.
As such it is near impossible for them to be positioned as 1st or 2nd overall.
If lowest company was not chosen due to some technical flaws (in which such claims is still questionable), why then are other companies which has better technical engine not chosen?
For the sake of transparency, could the top 5 for technical; top 5 for pricing and top 5 be made known?
Surely, the Little Napoleans will insists to say it is private and confidential thus we are left only to believe that there was no hanky panky (when the tenderers know there was).
They will likely say government processing of tenders met the highest level of professionalism and practices as in accordance with some world standards of procedures.
But, the fact is the Little Napoleans that submit the recomendation to Tender Board may have not do so objectively and with the best interest of government.
Here is a big fish to catch.
A good investigation team from MACC could smell it is corruption. They need technical expertise to conclusively prove that the Little Napolean may have intentionally done a recomendation not to the interest of government.
They have also lied in Parliament, which is another offense by itself.
Ask not what MACC can do to fight corruption - ask what you can do to fight corruption. Any one to offer MACC technical help to reel in this big fish?