Thursday, January 17, 2013

Is the Army the answer to mass scale corruption?

The Army to renovate 3000 Rajarata Tanks and end a corrupt Contract System that exists presently.

Today’s Daily News (17th January 2017 – and hence its factuality as to accuracy is called into question – but we will have to accept it for the purposes of my writing) reported that due to rampant corruption, the rehabilitation undertaken during the drought at enormous cost to tanks in the NCP, have turned out to be useless and have not achieved the objectives of shoring up the bunds, dams, and anicuts and rehabilitation of disused tanks for the purposes of irrigation.

This was stated by the Chief Minister, Mr SM Ranjith, possibly also as a dig at his predecessor, Bertie Premalal Dissanayaka. Instead of using contractors, whose sole purpose is to make money, do a lackadaisical job and skim profits, the NCP will release funds and all the materials, machinery, including the heavy equipment and the Army will provide the labor for future renovation works. It is not clear how the practical aspects, of ensuring quality and competence is handled.

In theory this sounds great so that money will not be wasted. We know it is not the job of the provincial councils to provide the labor, as they do not have a workforce as such to do such contracts, however the practice of giving the contracts to friends and family for bribes, money and then in turn the contractors make an obscene amount of money, giving very little to the labor force predicates this action.

This assumes two things. That the Army has the expertise, especially qualified civil engineers to do the work necessary, in addition to unskilled labor. It also assumes that the Army due to it not being required for defense, and as such being underutilized can transform itself into being an efficient Govt. contractor.

Will payments be made for the use of Army manpower for the work? If so how will it be accounted, as the personnel already receive their wages direct into their accounts irrespective of what work is assigned to them? If the money goes to another private slush fund, of the people involved, then it is mass scale deception of the populace, as in this instance more money can be made not less corruption, as the provincial councils will be paying for wages that are already paid and WILL NOT reduce the cost of defense but go into the pockets of dare I say it, the one person who is permitted to authorize this transaction. Nowhere in the Army accounts is the income from sundry commercial transactions the army engaged in. What happens to it as it does not reduce the cost of defense and is therefore a Q???

No comments: