Government reaffirms transparency in water management bidding

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BANGKOK, June 11 – The Thai government on Tuesday dismissed opposition allegations of possible bid rigging in the large scale mega water management project, saying the bidding has been carried out in a transparent manner.

Prime Minister’s Office Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan insisted on the government’s transparency after the opposition Democrat Party criticised the bidding process of the Bt350 billion water management projects that bid rigging was likely.

Mr Niwatthamrong said there were three steps in the selection process. At first 114 companies proposed their conceptual framework and the committee has selected 30 of them. Eventually, 11 firms passed the criteria to bid in nine modules.

The minister stated that there were two or three firms bidding for each module. In addition, committee on selection of bid winners consists of 53 qualified members and representatives from concerned agencies.

Their decisions were in written documents and can be examined.

Following criticism that the winning bidding prices were lower than ceiling prices, the minister said this is not final yet and the committee will have to negotiate with the bid winners to set appropriate budget.

He said if the final prices are not satisfying, there will be a new bidding.

“The prime minister wants to see transparency in bidding process, said Mr Niwatthamrong. “She is satisfied with yesterday’s bidding.”

Permanent Secretary for the Prime Minister’s Office Tongthong Chandransu earlier said that four companies passed the committee’s technical criteria in nine modules.

He said the ITD Power China Joint Venture received the highest scores in five modules, while Korea Water Resources Corp (K Water) from South Korea passed in two modules. Loxley Joint Venture and Summit SUT Joint Venture got highest point each in two remaining modules.

After the negotiations with the committee, he said the final result will be forwarded to the Water and Flood Management Commission on Friday and for cabinet approval next Tuesday, June 18.