The Cabinet Purchase Committee on Sunday approved a proposal to appoint a British security firm for providing consultancy services to improve the security system at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.
Redline Aviation Security Ltd won the contract, involving Tk 73.25 crore, to provide the service for the next two years.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed who presided over the meeting said, “We hope the crisis over the security at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport will be over following the approval of the proposal at the meeting.”
An agreement with the Redline was scheduled to be signed on Sunday night.
Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon, who was present at the meeting, said a total of 29 personnel of the British firm will join work at the airport immediately after the signing of the contract.
He hoped that the Australian government alongside the British government will lift its embargo on air cargo transportation from Bangladesh following the appointment of the British firm.
The cabinet body's approval to the appointment of the British firm came in the shortest time as the whole process was completed within less than a week.
The UK government imposed a ban on March 13 cargo on direct flights from Dhaka to London and suggested picking one of four British firms for the security consultancy service.
The Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry selected the Redline on March 14 and completed the evaluation process by March 16.
Finally, the proposal of the Redline was first placed in the Cabinet Economic Affairs Committee for approval as the selection process was done following the ‘direct procurement method’.
After the Cabinet Economic Affairs Committee’s nod, the Cabinet purchase body approved the same proposal immediately.
Sources said no one from the two cabinet bodies raised any question about the proposal. Rather, all committee members hurriedly gave their concurrence to the proposal without any elaborate discussion.
The two meetings were convened on emergency basis in a short notice and this proposal was the lone agenda of the meetings.
Official documents revealed that there was an obligation on the government’s part to approve the proposal for appointing a security firm by March 20.
The UK Department for Transport (DFT) in a letter said: “We will evaluate progress on March 20 in London, taking account of reports from the British High Commissioner in Dhaka and its Aviation Security Liaison Officer.”
The DFT also said: “By this time we would expect an agreed Statements of Requirements and tender process to be well under way, and for contractors to be on the ground at HSIA by March 31 at the very latest starting to deliver on the immediate and short term actions outlined...”
Sources said as per the terms of the contract to be signed with the British firm, the Redline will bring their own trained operational staff in the short term to support running security screening at the airport.
It will arrange training for both operational and supervisory Bangladesh staff in basic process and provide the supervisory cadres to manage the quality control of screening and other process.
The Redline will provide training to local staff in parallel to perform and train others in these functions.