President of the Federation of Civil Engineering Associations Tran Ngoc Hung spoke to Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Viet Nam Economics Times) about increasing the effectiveness of investment in construction.
Some say that investment capital is drained and wasted by the construction sector. What is your opinion?
Investment capital in construction now accounts for nearly 30 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product. However, the effectiveness of using the capital is lower than expectations. Scattered investment, prolonged construction times, malpractices in managing quality and the cost of projects are blamed.
Most construction works, particularly those funded by State Budget, often lag behind schedule. This occurs at all stages of investment, from building to operating. It results in a big waste of investment capital.
Lack of consistency among investment and building regulations, complicated administrative procedures and poor preparedness by survey contractors added to the situation.
How would you remove the shortcomings?
We actually need to change mechanisms in managing investment capital. They must improve the quality of construction works and increase the effectiveness of using investment capital in construction, especially investment capital funded by the State budget.
Relevant agencies should remove overlaps among regulations under various laws such as the Law on Construction, the Law on Bidding and the Law on Investment. For example, the Law on Construction requires contractors to hand in a report for the pre-investment period; however, the Law on Bidding requires a pre-feasibility report.
Recently, the Viet Nam Federation of Civil Engineering Associations asked the Government and the Ministry of Construction to review all laws relating to construction investment and to amend legal documents relating to the sector. It suggested the amendments be finished before issuing other new laws relating to the sector.
Some think that the poor capability of contractors is the main reason for poor quality construction. What do you think?
In my opinion, the key problem stems from how well contractors who use State budget money manage funds. And we should question why the quality of construction works operated by foreign and private investors are better.
At present, it is easy for domestic contractors to get work permits, making it hard to avoid those with little capability. Poor human resources, finance, equipment and machinery can all delay construction and lead to poor quality.
Bid invitations still lack specific requirements in many areas - on how main contractor manage sub-contractors, advanced technology, quality of equipment and building materials.
Sanctions to deter contractors from violating regulations are not strong enough, especially under construction projects funded by the State Budget.
The engineering associations recommend that the Ministry of Construction select contractors who use advanced technology and offer reasonable prices. — VNS