diverts Southern Highway tender
By Marisa de Silva
The Cabinet overruled a three-member Appeal Board decision and awarded
a tender of over Rupees eight billion to a Japanese company under
controversial circumstances for the construction of part of the
Southern Highway project.
The Government’s Procurement Appeal Board (PAB), which studied
an appeal and ruled that a Korean company initially selected for
the project be awarded the tender, had been overruled by the Cabinet
to award it to the next eligible company.
Chairman, former Judge K. Viknarajah said, “Although we made
this decision, it must be noted that the Cabinet has a clear authority
to overrule any decision made by us if they deem it necessary.”
Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle submitted the Cabinet Paper this
week, but declined to comment on the company selected for the project.
However The Sunday Times learns that the Highways Ministry Secretary
S. Amarasekara had already instructed the Project Director to go
ahead with the award of the contract. In November 2005, the Cabinet
granted Daewoo E. & C. Co. Ltd. a tender for the construction
of the JBIC-funded Southern Highway section from Dodangoda to Kurundugahahethakma.
However, this tender was later recalled and awarded to a Japanese
firm Taisei Corporation.
Amarasekara said the Daewoo proposal was dismissed as it did not
conform to the specifications outlined in the tender requirement.
He claimed that he had not been officially notified with regard
to the Cabinet’s final decision and that he expected to receive
official notice following next Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting.