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Govt follows up on faulty masks

The Government Logistics Department (GLD) today said it has referred a case involving a batch of masks with suspected false indication of origin to Customs for follow-up action.


The department said it would make its best efforts to assist in investigations.


All the concerned masks are still in GLD stock and have not yet been distributed to government departments for use.


The masks were procured through direct engagement from a local supplier in March this year.


The supplier was required to provide 32 million masks, with Japan as the origin and the product specifications being in compliance with the American Society for Testing & Materials F2100 Level 2 standard.


The offered price was in line with the prevailing market price.


The supplier has already delivered the masks in batches to the department and received $97.75 million for the goods.


Before awarding the procurement contract, the GLD had received from the supplier product specification testing reports, production information and letters from manufacturers as proof of compliance with standards and place of origin.


The supplier submitted more product specification testing reports in June and July.


The GLD confirmed with the issuing body that the testing reports were genuine. It did not find any quality problems when conducting random goods inspections in accordance with established procedures.


It subsequently learnt that the 32 million masks delivered under the contract did not fulfil the contract requirements, in that not all of the masks received were from Japan.


The GLD immediately withheld payment of the remaining amount due to the supplier and rescinded the procurement contract.


It will seek to recover all losses and compensation from the supplier.


Additionally, Customs announced it had arrested a 39-year-old trading company director and a 47-year-old logistics company director in relation to the case.

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