Ng Yen Yen: Finance Ministry says No to tourism promo presentation
The Finance Ministry was today blamed for interfering in the over RM381 million tourism advertising and promotion contract.
Senator S.Ramakrishnan questioned the Ministry of Finance as to why the Prime Minister who is in charge of the Finance ministry directed the tourism ministry to skip the actual presentation as claimed by tourism Minister Datuk Ng Yen Yen.
She made this statement in Parliament last week.
The Minister had said that the Finance Ministry had decided to do away with the actual presentation as the submissions were “good enough” in the RM381 million in the tender process for the advertising and promotions contract.
“This is not a transparent process as claimed by the Finance Ministry which was told to have open tender process in place for transparency and credibility especially when Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak who is also the Finance Minister announced that tender processes in the Government will be open and transparent.”
This change in whole tender process in the last tourism tender award to five new companies and the withdrawal of award winning company ISC cast suspicion and doubt to the tender award.
Ramakrishnan asked: “Since no actual presentation, who read all the proposals, listen to the jingles and viewed the TV commercials that are usually submitted in such major advertising and promotion selections?
“Who in Malaysia Tourism promotion Board (TM) is qualified to select creative work by just looking at the documents? Why the agencies being notified verbally by Malaysian Tourism Promotion board’s and not given the chance to present their proposals? ”
Furthermore, it took 8 months to finally select the agencies despite one key step which is the presentation process was by-passed.
The Association of Accredited Advertising Agents (4As) vice president Tony Savarimuthu said that the calling for final presentation is an established industry practice before a decision is made on the winning bid.
He added that to ascertain the quality of actual presentations, it is conventional to see final presentations followed with a question and answer session between the clients and agencies.
To ensure greater transparencies and to avoid disputes, the services of pitch consultants or independent parties should be roped in to oversee the pitching process said Tony Savarimuthu.
“Upon the advice of MOF all these best practices in the industry were overlooked by the ministry of tourism.
“Who, when and Why did the ministry of finance direct the removal of the actual presentation which is an industry established best practice? ” Ramakrishnan queried.
“The personnel/department who instructed the skip instruction in MOF must come out in the open and clarify all the aspersions casted and redeem the reputation of MOF and its practices. Isn’t it prudent to view the submission in actual presentation as to the creativity, content, color, voice, background and so on?”
In this matter the Ministry of Tourism should have advised ministry of finance as they are technical experts handling advertising and media related work. The MACC should reopen the investigations on the negligence and misguidance of MOF and Ministry of Tourism.