Some business are colluding: P.M.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi has accused “some” businesses of colluding when it comes to tendering for Government-funded projects.
Speaking on his weekly 2AP radio program on Thursday, Tuilaepa focused on the official opening of road infrastructure projects this week and then touched on the tender process.
“As you know all with the big Government projects we try to tender, but there are times when it is an urgent project, then they would seek three company quotes in efforts to decrease cost and also afford the opportunity for those have experience in these projects.”
However, he said the tendering of projects is vital, given that when there are issues with the project the company can be sanctioned and become blacklisted.
“Government engineers need to be vigilant when it comes to such matters because businesses at times are not faithful on their part, when they want a profit. And that is why it’s important for our government engineers to be attentive when it comes to road projects.”
He said while tendering and biddings are important but there is also a negative side to it.
“This will happen when family [owns several companies] will tender a bid on a project; they will collude to win the bid, one will say their bid will be $1.9 million while the other’s bid will be $2 million.”
He said this means the Government will be cornered.
“The objectives of competitive bidding through open and fair competition but sometimes that cannot be done when businesses collude and submit significant amount on tenders; this is one issue the government is looking into.”
He noted the overarching aspect of tendering of projects to save costs and award the contract to a company on its merits.
“The Government is looking into this because we are seeing the bids are quite extensive with costs increasing."
Another project that recently came under the radar of Cabinet is the building of a school funded by an overseas partner.
The Prime Minister did not say which overseas funder.
“When it came before the Tender Board the cost of the blueprint is $600,000 and the cost of the project $1.2 million, costing almost $2 million yet the project is for a primary school," he said on the radio program.
"And when compared to the classrooms funded by Japan its $320,000 is the cost."