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Srisuwan targets ‘bid rigging’ using ankle bracelets

Srisuwan targets 'bid rigging' using ankle bracelets

In a petition submitted to the Justice Ministry on Friday, political activist Srisuwan Janya requested that a committee be formed to investigate claims of bid manipulation in the purchase of outmoded electronic monitoring (EM) ankle bracelets for 1.6 billion Thai Baht.

Following Premchai Karnasuta’s release from Thong Pha Phum prison on Tuesday, the petition was submitted. He was not required to wear an EM bracelet, according to the Department of Corrections (DoC), because the tracker could damage diabetes-related sores.

According to Mr. Srisuwan, the purchase of EM instruments has long reeked of corruption. According to him, his inquiry revealed that academics with ties to the winning bidder constituted a Terms of Reference (ToR) committee. In fact, a few committee members claimed they had never been to a meeting. The activist also discovered that the procurement documents’ and the ToR’s requisite committee signatures were absent.

He said that the executive DoC officials were careless in the procurement procedure in light of all these issues.

Additionally, the EM bracelets’ standards have been in use for seven years, therefore the technology is old. Today’s technology is more sophisticated, and the size is likewise smaller but more robust, like a smartwatch. According to Mr. Srisuwan, new EM bracelets also offer improved tracking capabilities, even when an offender is submerged in water in a cave.

However, the Justice Ministry continues to apply the same outdated EM bracelet specs. This might work in the private company’s favor, he suggested.

60,000 EM bracelets have already been purchased for a total of 1.6 billion baht, or around 73,333 baht per set. But right now, EM bracelet sets cost on average around 7,700 Thai Baht. If large lots are purchased, prices may be reduced. The ministry is getting ready to request 1.2 billion baht from the federal budget to buy the same old EM wristbands. This ought to end, he said.

“We demand the Justice Ministry scraps the new procurement plan and sets up a committee to probe,” he stated.

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