KUALA LUMPUR, July 5 — The Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) has imposed financial penalties totalling RM1.54 million on eight companies for their involvement in bid rigging involving government procurement.
MyCC chief executive officer Iskandar Ismail said the companies had formed two cartels to manipulate four information technology projects involving Akademi Seni Budaya dan Warisan Kebangsaan (Aswara) worth RM1.92 million.
He said investigations were conducted since 2017 after a complaint by Aswara, before a thorough review by the MyCC revealed breaches by the eight companies that violated Section 4(1), which is read together with Section 4(2) of the Competition Act 2010.
“This is because of their involvement with a series of anti-competition agreements or bid rigging involving Aswara procurement projects.
“All the companies were colluding to defraud the government and manipulate tenders to win (tenders and government procurement invoices),” he said in a media conference at the MyCC office here today.
Iskandar said the public procurement procedure was set to ensure competitive bids from bidders and companies were required to act responsibly.
He said interested bidders had to prepare and hand in their offer independently of each other and tenders or invoices produced based on secret arrangements or cooperation between bidders for the same tender would hinder competition and cause a false perception that the procurement process was fair.
“The behaviour of the companies would jeopardise the competitive process and cause losses to the government, and leakages in public funds,” he added.
Iskandar said in addition to fines, the eight companies could be subjected to action under the Integrity in Public Procurement Circular (PK 1.6) read together with Non-compliance in Public Procurement Circular (PK 8) of the Finance Ministry effective June 1.
Under that action, individuals or entities found involved in bid rigging in public procurement could have their registration suspended for a maximum of five years, blacklisted and banned from joining or receiving procurement offers issued by government agencies for the duration of the suspension.
“This decision shows MyCC’s commitment to continue tackling the issue of companies conspiring to manage public funds through bid rigging,” he added. — Bernama