It is said that Cabinet approval has been granted to pass an estimate of Rs. 27 million to install a new WiFi network at the Department of Government Information.
This is despite a SLT WiFi system already in place at the Department since the days of the Good Governance government. The new WiFi system proposed is also from the SLT.
The Cabinet paper tabled by Minister of Mass Media – Dullas Alahapperuma, was formulated by Mr. Kapila Ariyawansa, the Department’s Additional Director (Media), on the instructions of the Department’s DG.
It is reported that Mr. Kapila has initiated the move and had even misled the minister and the DG in this regard.
He has said that the current Wi-Fi network is not secure and even drivers attached to the Department would also log into the network. Noting that this costs the Department a huge amount of money on a monthly basis, he had proposed to re-install an entirely new Wi-Fi network with new hardware.
However, IT experts point out that they could have easily addressed these prevalent issues while keeping the old network at a cost of around Rs. 500,000 or so. A new network costing over 50 times more, has been approved instead.
A technical committee evaluation, of which Mr. Kapila is a member, had been presented when the proposal was pitched to the Minister of Mass Media and Information – Dullas Alahapperuma. It is said that the Chief Financial Officer of the department had also supported this initiative.
Mr. Kapila was initially working at the Ministry of Economic Development when Basil Rajapaksa was its minister. However, he was transferred to the Department of Government Information after the Good Governance government swept into power.