‘TEC made urgent decision on supplier’

A Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) appointed by the SriLankan Airlines (SLA) made an urgent decision on selecting a supplier of a Hanger Door to the SLA, it was revealed before the PCoI on SLA yesterday.

The commission came to know that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) had involved in making the final decision on the supplier while there was an independent TEC appointed for the purpose.

The door of the 747 hanger of the airlines was a major requirement to the SLA to regain the EASA certificate on Base Maintenance, which was surrendered in 2017. The surrendering of this internationally recognized certificate limited the heavy aircraft maintenance.

Considering the requirement, the SLA called for Requests for Proposals from bidders. Of the eight proposals presented by three bidders, two by the Penthouse (Pvt.) Ltd. were shortlisted. These proposals were from the Assa Abloy Manufacturing Company from Sweden and the IKS Company from Turkey. The shortlisted companies were mentioned in the second report of the TEC presented on July 10, 2017.

Before the third and the final report of the TEC is issued, Christy Fernando, Manager Properties and Facilities of the SLA, had convened a meeting with the TEC members, CEO, Chief Technical Official (CTO), and the Chief Financial Officer on August 30. At the meeting, the CEO had asked the participants not to delay the process and had also questioned about the previous experience of the IKS Company. On the following day, the CEO had sent an email to several officials pointing out several weaknesses with the IKS including that it had no anti-drop feature certificate.

Ajith Sugathapala, Project and Development Manager of the SLA told the Commission he received two telephone calls from then CTO on August 30 and 31 asking him to provide some details immediately for them to be presented at the Board Meeting to be held on August 31. The Board at this meeting had recommended the proposal by the Assa Abloy Company over the IKS’s proposal considering their suitability despite a higher price negotiated by them.

The final report of the TEC came out on September 13, after about two weeks from the board meeting. The witness told that the TEC compiled an additional report citing the justifications to select the Assa Abloy on October 19, after about one month from the final report.

The Commission questioned the witness whether the TEC would be in a position to make an independent decision when there is an involvement by officials such as the CEO and the CTO in making the decision. The witness told that the TEC just followed the guidance they gave.


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