HA NOI — State-funded construction projects need to be required to hire project management consultants in accordance with the law, says Viet Nam Federation of Civil Engineering Associations president Tran Ngoc Hung.
Under the current laws on construction and enterprises, if developers lack sufficient experience in managing a major construction project, they must retain consultants to ensure project progress. Yet, Hung said, few have complied with this provision as they were "afraid" of losing power – and profits.
The incompetence of agencies has been partly to blame for many slow-moving projects and low-quality construction projects.
In projects built by ministries, municipal or provincial People's Committees and State enterprises, projects are managed by ministers or People's Committees chairman or the head of institutions that will use the finished structures, e.g., school principals and directors of hospitals, theatres, and museums.
Many of those people lack expertise and experience relating to construction projects.
Le Van Thinh, an official from the Department of State Examination of Construction Work Quality under the Ministry of Construction, said that incompetence in project management could affect quality or lead to impulsive decisions in selecting designers or contractors, with many officials preferring to choose contractors they know rather than opening projects for tender as regulated.
Some projects have lost time and money because designs have had to be readjusted or building materials reinstalled.
Thinh said that it was necessary to add requirements for State-funded projects to avoid actions that can cause a waste of public funds. Needed regulations would govern the sorts of legal entities that can service as consultants and qualifications of consultants to deal with certain kinds of projects, as well as requirements that architects and civil engineers have sufficient experience and have worked on at least one project of a similar kind.
Hung suggested that project management boards be established based on fields. For instance, an educational project management board would specialise in school, library and lab projects, giving them skills to handle problems effectively and ensure progress and work quality. — VNS