Federal audit: Delayed radar facility worth RM290m poses security risk

The Defence Ministry responded to the audit findings on April 2, 2019, by confirming that the relocation of radio and radar to the final site in Location B was fully accomplished on October 23, 2018 and January 29 this year, respectively. — Google Street View screenshot
The Defence Ministry responded to the audit findings on April 2, 2019, by confirming that the relocation of radio and radar to the final site in Location B was fully accomplished on October 23, 2018 and January 29 this year, respectively. — Google Street View screenshot

IPOH, July 15 — A radar facility project, with the original contract value of RM289.8 million, had only went operational after three years of its completion deadline, the Auditor-General 2018 Report revealed today. 

The project, which was awarded via direct negotiation and saw four extensions of time (EOT) totalling 602 days, also poses a national security risk, according to the report.

Despite the facility’s completion in October 2017, it only went operational in January this year after the relocation of the radar equipment to the site was delayed.

“Audit visits on July 9, July 30 and November 22, 2018 found the radar complex was still not operational, even though the project was finished on October 2, 2017.

“This is because the radar had not been relocated from the temporary site in Location A to the final site in Location B,” the audit report read.

“In the Audit’s opinion, delays in moving the radar from the temporary site in Location A to Location B could affect the radar detection coverage and pose a risk to the national air defence,” the report added.

The actual locations involved have been withheld in the report, for security reasons.

The audit said that the delayed was because the procurement of cables and radio, which was separate from the construction works of the facilities, was implemented late.

The Defence Ministry responded to the audit findings on April 2, this year, by confirming that the relocation of radio and radar to the final site in Location B was fully accomplished on October 23, 2018 and January 29 this year, respectively.

In addition to the Location B project, another two project was also involved in Location A — phases 1 and 2 of the Sector Development Centre (SOC).

The first Location A contract was for RM88.85 million and concluded on August 8, 2012 — two years after it was awarded in August 2010. The second Location A contract was for RM159.5 million and completed on January 14, 2016 — four years after it was awarded in February 2012.

Altogether, the three SOC contracts were worth RM538.15 million.

The report also pointed out weaknesses in the site handover process from the contractor to the end-user, as well as low work quality that did not meet the specifications.

However, the report stated that the financial management of the contract was orderly and that the ministry has taken steps to find the best price available.

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