Justice cancels contract for flawed electronic tags

Justice cancels contract for flawed electronic tags

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin, right, is shown how the EM bracelets can be easily removed, during testing at the Department of Probation on Aug 9. (File photo)
Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin, right, is shown how the EM bracelets can be easily removed, during testing at the Department of Probation on Aug 9. (File photo)

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin has cancelled the contract for the lease of 4,000 electronic monitoring (EM) bracelets for offenders on home detention after tests showed the devices could be readily removed.

He also wants the supplier to pay a fine of nearly 84 million baht. 

The minister on Friday announced the revocation of the EM bracelet-rental contract with Supreme Distribution (Thailand) Co because the device was flawed.

The Department of Probation signed a 21-month contract for the lease of 4,000 of the bracelets from the firm from January this year to September next year at a cost of 74.47 million baht. However, tests later revealed they could be easily removed from wrists and did did not meet the specifications in the terms of reference. 

Mr Somsak said he ordered the revocation of the contract on Sept 11. The department notified the firm of the decision and asked it to pay a total fine of 83.82 million baht. 

The fine comprises 17 million for delays in supplying the devices, 52 milllion baht for the supplier’s failure to provide new devices to replace the flawed ones within a 26-day deadline, or 500 baht a day for each  device, 22,500 baht for damage caused by the one-month absence of two staff at the EM centre, and damage caused to the department regarding use of its budget after the revocation of the contract, Mr Somsak said.

The department had tried to protect the national interest by asking the firm to comply with the contract. However, it failed to honour the terms, he said.

The department had notified all courts to stop using the electronic monitoring bracelets pending the  procurement of new ones in the next fiscal year.

The minister said use of EM bracelets was vital to relieve prison crowding. There were 360,000 inmates in prisons across the country and the number was on the rise.

Prasarn Mahaleetrakul, director-general of the Department of Probation, said the department had already notified the Courts of Justice about the revocation of the EM-lease contract and asked the office to alert all courts nationwide to revoke the use of the devices for people on probation.

There were about 500 probationers fitted with the electronic monitoring bracelets, he said. 


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