SLPA states on false media reports on fraud in the purchase of face masks


The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has drawn its attention on reports on social media and other media outlets regarding the matter. Accordingly, SLPA kindly requests the responsible journalists / media institutions not to publish news that is detrimental to the reputation of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) on the basis of false information and  without consulting the institution for accuracy.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is confident that the media outlets will also  provide the necessary publicity on the above matter as explained by the institution as below:

Several media websites have published the above news using the photograph of the Minister of Ports and Shipping, Rohitha Abeygunawardena. It is emphasized that there is no intervention of the Minister in any means, in the tender procedure of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA). Accordingly, it is emphasized that the process is being carried out under the supervision of the relevant officials of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA).

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has a clear and accurate procedure for procuring any goods or services for the institution. Accordingly, firstly, sealed bids are called through national newspaper advertisements only from suppliers registered annually as suppliers of the SLPA.

This general methodology is common to any product or service purchased by the SLPA and is same with the procedure adhered when purchasing face masks that has been the subject of this controversy.

Accordingly, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) publishes the required quantity of goods / number of  units, specification (how the product or service is required) and also the deadline of bid date and time in the relevant advertisement.

Following are the specifications for purchasing face masks as recommended by the health sector to control the Covid-19 pandemic:

  1. 04 ply or more
  2. Bacterial filtration efficiency 98%
  3. NMRA certificate
  4. The following should be confirmed by a technical report obtained from a local or international laboratory on the quality of the product:
  • Flammability
  • Synthetic blood penetration resistance
  • Bacterial filtration efficiency 98%
  • Particle filtration efficiency 95%
  • Differential pressure
  • Microbial cleanliness (Bioburden) of medical masks
  • Conformance to quality system standards
  • Heavy metal test
  • Oil mist filtration efficiency
  • Breathing resistance test
  • Limit of viral field
  1. Material test report:

Procurement committee approval has been obtained only for the purchase of masks that conform to these specifications.

Proper sampling and test reports must be submitted with the bid, and rejection of bids not submitted accordingly is also a condition.

In cases where suppliers are not manufacturers, it is mandatory for suppliers to submit a letter of authorization with a bid. It is emphasized therefore, that the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has purchased only high quality masks instead of the lowest prices under the extensive supervision of the officers of the Procurement Committees at the above procurement process.