Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ministers had rejected the deal for privatization of Britain’s search and rescue operations

Police are probing into the matter to find out that how commercially sensitive information could go into the hands of a Royal Bank of Scotland-backed consortium bidding for six billion pounds worth helicopter contract.
In a dramatic turn yesterday, ministers rejected the process for privatizing Britain’s search and rescue operations which were meant to replace Britain's ageing fleet of Sea King helicopters next year.
It has been assumed that former staff of Ministry of Defense had joined the private sector and given out commercially sensitive information to a member of the Soteria group, which was bidding in the tender process. With process being stopped the future of the rescue force are into doubt
In the consortium, a helicopter service provider, CHC, defense group Thales UK and the helicopter maker Sikorsky are there.
RBS had also been part of the group just a couple of months back. But it withdrew itself from the group after spotting irregularities with the process. Soteria got the appointment as the preferred bidder last February. This has now been cancelled.

In an open statement, Philip Hammond, the Transport Minister stated that Soteria willingly came forward to inform the government of irregularities regarding the behavior of their bid team.
The irregularities consist of one of the consortium members, CHC Helicopter accessing commercially sensitive information, and proof that a former member of that project team has assisted the consortium in its bid preparation.
Ministry of Defense Police is looking into the matter of how the commercially sensitive information came to be in the possession of the bidder.
Hammond further added that government has enough information for concluding that the irregularities that could be figured out were of such proportions that it would not be fitting to carry on with either the preferred bid or with the existing procurement process.
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