A concerned Malaysian writes about Malaysian affairs. "You are the Change you Seek" Barack Obama

Friday, October 26, 2007

Pssst!.....Want to Buy Some Screw-drivers?

I wonder why this report from NST has the ACA defending the purchase of a common commodity like a screw-driver with the following rationale,

"The Auditor-General said the ministry paid RM8.39mil more than the market price for the items, including RM224 for a set of four screwdrivers (costing RM32 in the market)."

but the ACA defends the decision with

"ACA director-general Datuk Ahmad Said Hamdan said the supplier of the Draper screwdrivers took into account that they were imported and came with a guarantee of authenticity and quality."

This not rocket science. Why bother to import such a basic tool when other imported brands are also in the market like Stanley.

A cheap China product can cost 25% of the cost and since there are no moving parts like a Nuri helicopter, it is not critical to purchase such quality.
Most likely those imported items would "get lost" very quickly and the workers will replace them with the cheap imports anyway.

If we look at the overall abuse in this particular department, the overpricing is about 8 to 10 times the possible market price. So they also screwed up with the screwdrivers. But of course if only one set was purchased the amount is quite small but if 1000 sets are bought the amount escalates rapidly.

Some people are really greedy and it is good the ACA has finally started to take action. Their suggestion for open tenders to reduce corrupt practices also merits a thorough study.

Let's face it. Even with the tender process, it is possible to get away with paying 20 to 25% more than the market price if the tender is awarded to a favoured contractor with some genuine reasons.

Those who specify tenders can also skew the specs so that one contractor can make the best bid.

Some people criticise the ACA for not landing bigger fish but to me any fish is better than no fish. Perhaps they will learn how to catch the sharks after some time.

Photo: Thanks to http://www.reprise.com/HOST/circuits/images/screwdrivers.jpg

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