Contracts queried

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday October 16th, 2013


THE Opposition claims that processes were not followed when more than K1.2 billion worth of road contracts were awarded to Chinese companies and that costs were inflated.

A senior government MP, who did not want to be named, claimed the K399 million Togoba-Kisinopi Road and the K800 million super highway contracts from Lae to Nazab were questionable and needed to be investigated.  

Deputy Opposition leader Sam Basil claimed something was amiss and that the Opposition would not allow the contract awards being swept under the carpet.

He said while he supported endeavours to bring about development, he did not think the contracts dished out by the government for exorbitant amounts were awarded properly or fairly.

“There is a process of scoping, costing and tender,” Basil said. 

“How on earth can the prime minister justify the awarding of the tender for the Pacific Games Village when the sports minister admitted that he did not know why the tender was awarded to a company that did not bid and never got through the Technical Evaluation Committee?

“If the CSTB (tenders board) is responsible then how do we comply with the process? We may as well start giving contracts to people or firms who do not even have time to bid. 

“The TEC of the tenders board never considered the Chinese company from the start, so how did it win the contracts? 

“What was the reason for bringing them in at the CSTB level? Is that the correct process? The prime minister and his works minister and minister for treasury sure have lots of questions to answer.

“The Chinese companies engaged by the government on several multi-million kina projects in the country have been blacklisted by the World Bank.

“Why then has the prime minister and the government seen it fit to entertain this company, whose business practice has been internationally questioned by the leading world financial authority who is a critical partner in PNG’s overall development? Are we condoning their practice or was the World Bank wrong in their assessment and advice?

“It is becoming more evident that the government of the day is circumventing all due processes and public tender regulations.”