British company Redline Assured Security has demanded Tk 58 crore for overall security management at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport for six months while negotiation with another British company, Restrata, was going on yesterday.
Redline and Restrata have been primarily selected from a list of four foreign security companies suggested by British High Commissioner Alison Blake during a meeting with Bangladesh government high-ups at the Prime Minister Office on March 13.
Two other companies on the list are G4S and Westminster Security Services.
Initially, a company will be appointed for six months and, if needed, its tenure might be increased, said a top official of civil aviation and tourism ministry.
Its job will cover security management, quality control in civil aviation, Aviation Security (AVSEC) screeners training, infrastructural development and cargo security.
Officials of Redline and Restrata were now in Dhaka. The authorities started negotiations with Restrata on Wednesday and with Redline the previous day.
“We are negotiating so that Redline trims down the proposed amount,” said the ministry official, wishing anonymity.
Reliable sources in the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (Caab) said they are expecting Restrata's proposal by today.
He said the proposals from both the companies will then be placed tomorrow at the meeting of the high-profile steering committee formed on March 13 for intensive monitoring of the airport's security management.
Headed by Civil Aviation Minister Rashed Khan Menon, the seven-member committee includes the prime minister's security adviser, senior home secretary, PMO secretary, secretaries of the civil aviation and foreign ministries and the Caab chairman.
The official said since the proposal is expected to involve more than Tk 10 crore, it requires a PPR (Public Procurement Resolution) and approval of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) and the cabinet committee on purchase.
But another official of the civil aviation ministry said, “The high-profile steering committee might get the project rolling without the approval from Ecnec or the purchase committee since it is an emergency project and it is being done for the sake of the country.”
The British envoy and other UK delegation members during the March 13 meeting suggested hiring a foreign company for security management at the airport as Bangladesh “failed to meet” some international security requirements.
The meeting took place days after the UK government imposed a ban on direct air cargo from Dhaka to London on security grounds and the British prime minister wrote to his Bangladesh counterpart asking for foolproof security at the airport by March 31.
In the March 8 letter, David Cameron called for a visible improvement of airport security by March 31 to avoid further measures like banning of direct passenger Biman flights from Dhaka to London.