Interior Ministry Makes 'Election Purchases' Without Any Tenders

  • Local
Interior Ministry Makes 'Election Purchases' Without Any Tenders

The total cost of the "supplies" needed on elections day (indelible ink, red wax, television sets, etc.) amounted to more than $2.4 million, Al-Akhbar newspaper reported, while the Interior Ministry did not launch any tender under the pretext of tight time constraints.

According to documents issued by the Purchasing Department at the Interior Ministry, 20,000 bottles of indelible ink, which voters will be required to dip a finger into it to get an indelible stain which prevents multiple voting, were bought at LBP 1.6 billion (over $1 million), noting that the price of one bottle was set at LBP 80,000 ($53).

Market price of an ink bottle? It ranges between $3 and $11.

Moreover, the cost of packaging of the ink bottles reached LBP 160 million (almost $107,000), i.e. LBP 8,000 ($5) per one unit, including Interior Ministry stickers to be glued to the bottles and nylon bags.

Market price of a sticker and a nylon bag? Less than $1.

The Ministry also bought 8,000 pairs of gloves at a total price of LBP 15.5 million ($10,360), noting that one pair was sold at LBP 19,000 (almost $12).

As for the red wax, 9,000 sticks were bought at LBP 54 million ($36,000), as the unit price was set at around LBP 6,000 ($4).

The election purchases also include 7,000 Samsung TVs to be installed in all polling stations for the vote count process. The total cost of these devices reached over $1 million, noting that the unit price offered by the Samsung dealer in Lebanon was $170. A knowledgeable source told the newspaper that the market unit price of the same type of the Samsung TVs bought by the Interior Ministry is no more than $200, wondering how the purchase of 7,000 devices was not subject to more than a $30 discount.