The Cabinet on Tuesday suspended the construction of the Rs. 40 billion Defence Head Quarters Complex (DHC) at Akuregoda and the payments to the private contractor, as the selection of consultancy firm and payments that had been made were done without providing true information to the Cabinet, Cabinet Spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said today.
The Cabinet Memo presented by President Maithripala Sirisena as the Minister of Defence to this effect had revealed that a huge financial mismanagement, running into billions of rupees, had taken place during the initial stages of the project and all Cabinet Papers pertaining to the project had been prepared on the whims and fancies of the former Defence Secretary, he said.
President Sirisena told the Cabinet that a four member committee appointed to conduct an inquiry on the construction of the DHC has observed that that selection of consultancy firms and their payments have been done without providing true information to the Cabinet.
The proposal sought to suspend the services of the selected private firms and to review the payments made to the said firms, and if the payments were approved by the Cabinet.
Minister Senaratne said the Cabinet has information that Rs. 600 million, out of Rs. 2,200 million paid to the consultancy firm, was paid in excess and the Consultancy firm had been registered with the Registrar of Companies after the tender was offered to the firm by the Defence Ministry.
“There is no doubt, that a huge financial fraud has taken place involving this project and the Government would go to the bottom of it and expose the culprits and take legal action against them before long, he said. (Sandun A Jayasekera)