The Education Ministry has incurred RM3.17 million in liquidated and ascertained damages as a result of the failure to meet the deadline, says the 2010 Auditor-General's Report.
PETALING JAYA: The computer lab project in Sabah is a “failure” because only two of the 300 labs were ready in December 2010, according to the 2010 Auditor-General’s Report.
“This is despite a six-month extension and after RM98.9 million (86%) of the RM113.73 million was spent on the construction cost,” the report said.
“This failure to meet the deadline has resulted in the Education Ministry incurring RM3.17 million in liquidated and ascertained damages for the period between Nov 1, 2008 and May 11, 2009. However, the ministry has terminated this contract in March 2010.”
The audit report stated that the hiring of an untrustworthy contractor had prevented Sabah from implementing the teaching and learning of information and communication technology (ICT) in its schools.
The report singled out Sekolah Kebangsaan Kepayan in Kota Kinabalu which it said had left its stock of ICT equipment utouched for three years.
“The equipment was found in the original packaging and was not disbursed because 99.3% of the computer labs were incomplete,” the report said. “A portion of these labs are also suffering damages from termite infestation,” it said.
The report added: “The Education Ministry must set up a special committee to investigate and determine the extent of the damages to the labs and the ICT equipment so as to disburse those that are still in good condition and replace those that are faulty.”
The ministry has acknowledged the accuracy of the audit report and laid the blame on the contractor’s incompetence. It also outlined the steps it has taken to resolve this issue.
In response to the report, the ministry said that 93 of the 300 computer labs in Sabah schools have been completed since last December.
A total of 158 labs are expected to be completed by next month while work on the remaining 46 labs have been halted due to the anticipated high cost involved in the completion, it said.
The ministry also said that besides terminating the contract, it has also re-assessed the uncompleted work and proceeded with the construction of labs that are 80% complete.
“We will also provide alternative computer labs by taking over vacant classrooms so that the ICT sessions can be carried out in schools,” the ministry said.
It added that it had accepted the report’s recommendations and had set up the special committee on June 7, 2010.
It added that the Sabah Education Department is preparing a proposal to hire a contractor to deliver computers and ICT equipment to the completed labs.