Opposition: Possible bid rigging in water management project

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BANGKOK, June 10 – Thailand’s Opposition Party on Monday said bid rigging is likely in the government’s ongoing bidding process for the Bt350 billion in water management projects.

Democrat Party spokesman Chavanond Intarakomalyasut said the public is worried that this will be the beginning of bid rigging as so far there are only two bidders for each major project.

As there are few bidders, he said, it is possible that they can easily make a collusion.

Mr Chavanond cited that the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has earlier expressed concern on the move as the bidding process did not follow the Office of Prime Minister’s provision regulations.

He said that the Democrat Party legal team will discuss the issue and file a complaint with the anti-graft agency.

Meanwhile, Tongthong Chandransu, permanent secretary for the prime minister’s office, who chairs the committee on selection of bid winners for the projects said there are four companies passing the committee’s technical criteria in nine modules.

The government’s sustainable water management projects comprise nine major plans which include the construction of reservoirs, dykes in waterways–especially the Chao Phraya River– a single command centre and water management plans for 17 waterways nationwide.

He said the ITD Power China Joint Venture got 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.

Mr Tongthong said it is normal for all bidders to propose their bidding prices near the ceiling prices, but it depends on the committee to negotiate with bidders for appropriate prices between June 11-13.

If the talks with the first bid winner could not be concluded, Mr Tongthong said, the committee will call the second and the third winner for talks.

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.