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Public bidding must for HN’s BT projects: Experts

Update: November, 02/2017 - 16:30
Road surface of Long Biên flyover is damaged right after the project was completed. This is one of seven projects that have committed violations. – Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội’s People’s Committee has proposed 16 Build-Transfer (BT) projects with total investment of more than VNĐ130 trillion (US$5.6 billion) to the Government.

According to experts, the city should put up the projects for open bidding to select investors to avoid violations committed during the previous projects.

Among 16 BT projects proposed by chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyễn Đức Chung, there are 12 transport projects and four environment projects, including key projects worth trillions of đồng.

The city has suggested applying a specific mechanism, which means removing a series of procedures for investors.

Some infrastructure projects that have huge impact on the city’s socio-economic development and help solve traffic congestion must be implemented early. It takes a lot of time and the project’s progress may fall behind schedule if investors are selected following Bidding Law and Government’s decree, Chung said, adding there must be a specific mechanism for investor selection.

Several construction experts said most contractors of BT projects executed in Hà Nội are appointed through a specific mechanism. However, Hà Nội has not followed an efficient investor selection process and has not fully assessed the capacity of some investors. Some incapable investors were, therefore, still being selected, leading to violations.

“The projects applying a specific mechanism were said to be urgent, however, local authorities did not show their urgency when appointing investors,” a member of the Government Inspectorate (GI) told Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper.

Dr Doãn Minh Tâm, former head of the Transport Communication and Science Technology Institute, said investors of BT and Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) projects must be selected through public bidding, although they will enjoy a specific mechanism.

However, all seven BT projects implemented in Hà Nội in the past had their investors appointed and the State was finding it hard to select capable investors.

 “This is the main reason leading to projects’ slow progress and cost overruns, as pointed out by the GI,” Tâm said.

Nguyễn Mạnh Quyền, director of Hà Nội’s Department of Planning and Investment, said public bidding will be held for the city’s Public-Private Partnership projects, including BT and BOT projects in the future, except for urgent projects or those under specific order of the Prime Minister.

In July this year, the GI released findings of egregious wrongdoing in the implementation of a number of BT and BOT infrastructure and environmental projects in Hà Nội.

All BT projects were behind schedule and entailed significant cost overruns. GI said contractors were “not sufficiently capable of mobilising capital” and also blamed “failure to disburse budget in accordance with set schedule.”

Seven BT projects that caused massive loss are construction of the Yên Sở wastewater treatment plant, the Lê Văn Lương Road extension, the southern main road of Hà Tây and a street connecting Lê Đức Thọ, as well as new urban area Xuân Phương, a road surrounding the Chu Văn An memorial site and the Hà Nội–Hưng Yên interprovincial road. — VNS



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