Secretary Luma: Deal is proper

National, Normal

The National,Wednesday18 January 2012

THE contract awarded to Mori Resource Limited by the Works Department was done through normal tendering process, Works secretary Joel Luma says.
Luma said on Friday the contract awarded to Wera Mori, the principal of Mori Resource, to carry out the verification exercise on the Highlands Highway under the Highlands Highway rehabilitation programme had been given on merit.
He said the awarding of the contract was a long process and the Central Supply Tenders Board awarded the contract because Mori had the expertise and technology to carry out satellite mapping on the properties along the 40m corridor of the road.
He accused the media of doing a one-side story to please Joe Kile, an agent of a sub-contractor SkyCo System Ltd, who had been appointed by Works Minister Francis Awesa.
Awesa, in his letter dated Dec 8, 2011, to Luma said the Department of Works was to immediately facilitate the necessary instruments and mobilisation funds to effect the deployment of SkyCo System PNG Ltd’s engagement to start work on the site for the project, beginning in Chimbu.
In the same letter, Awesa directed Luma to notify Mori Resource of the company’s termination immediately.
A letter written by Bryan Kimmins, the chairman of the Central Supply and Tenders Board, dated Jan 11, 2010, and addressed to the Mainini Landowners Association chairman in Chimbu, said the board, in its meeting on Nov 20, 2009, awarded a contract to Mori Resource Ltd for the verification and reassessment of affected structure improvement, plants and landslips using GIS technology along the Highlands Highway in Chimbu.
However, secretary of the Highlands Highway Landowners Association, Kinston Womai said yesterday in Kundiawa that according to the minor brief he had, the consultancy agreement between the State and Mori Resource Ltd was signed on March 19, 2009.
Womai, who produced a copy of Kimmins’ letter to the Mainini Landowners Association, said the Central Supply and Tenders Board awarded the contract seven months after the agreement had been signed between Mori and Luma.
 “I don’t know whether this is a proper procedure involved in awarding a contract,” he said.