Specific emergency procurement agreement should be created for Health Ministry - Lukanisman
KUALA LUMPUR - The emergency procurement process under the Health Ministry (MOH) in the future must have specific agreements with suppliers to ensure that they do not take advantage of the ministry and provide equipment that complies with the specifications.
Deputy Minister Lukanisman Awang Sauni said when the country was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019, ventilators were urgently needed and were purchased on an emergency basis without specific agreements with the suppliers.
He said the prices rose sharply because ventilators were classified as a commodity and sold using the cash and carry system, adding due to limited movements in the producing countries, such as China, the suppliers submitted proposals on the purchase of the equipment using catalogues and brochures.
"For procurement purposes, MOH has set ventilator specifications for supply and the selection of equipment was made through catalogues due to restrictions in movement that did not allow physical inspection of the equipment,” he said, adding suppliers took advantage of this situation and provided ventilators that did not meet the requested specifications.
He said this during the winding-up debate on the Auditor General's Report (LKAN) 2021 Series 2 for the ministry.
Therefore, he said, a more organised system must be created such as preparing a specific emergency procurement agreement to be used if the country is once again faced with an emergency.
Meanwhile, RSN Rayer (PH-Jelutong) wanted the suppliers that took advantage of the situation to be blacklisted and barred from supplying equipment to MOH in the future, saying suppliers should have a moral responsibility to provide ventilators that can be used even if MOH does not check the quality.
On the issue of ownership of the MySejahtera application, Lukanisman said it was fully owned by the ministry and the government has full rights over the application through a perpetual license. - BERNAMA