Published On: Thu, Jun 19th, 2014

Finance against it – Balborda wants to “raffle” 10 projects under two contractors

BalbordaWILLEMSTAD – The Ministry of Finance doesn’t feel much for the proposal of the Minister of Traffic, Transport and Urban Planning, Earl Balborda to start various infrastructure projects without a public tender. The Ministry has emitted a negative advice against the proposal of raffling the 10 infrastructure projects under just two companies. The Ministry indicates in their advice, that even if some of these projects were already started without the public tender, the Minister must find a way to stop them immediately.

In March 2013, the Council of Ministers (RvM) decided to deviate from the normal procedures of holding public tenders for the catching up efforts to fix the roads on the island. Back then the Ministry of Finance did not give any advice on this matter. Based on that decision, the Minister of Urban Planning signed a declaration of intent with the consortium of contractors CWM-MNO to execute the project. The agreement was that only those contractors will execute the work and that the government will not hold public tenders while the declaration of intent is valid.

After an extensive evaluation, it became clear that the contractors did not make use of all the possibilities, which are available and are used by other contractors, to deliver a good job. This meant that the contractors were not able to deliver on time. This is the reason why the Ministry of Finance assumed that the government could propose a different approach. It is also good to note that the declaration of intent expired in November 2013.

The Minister of Urban Planning has now a similar proposal, but with a different combination of contractors, who called themselves Civil Alliance & Road Works Inc. These contractors have years of experience in building and maintaining roads.

The Minister explained that there will be 10 projects that will be raffled under the consortiums and they will negotiate the price with the government. If the government does not reach an agreement with this consortium, the Minister will then negotiate with the original consortium. If by then there is no agreement, the government will hold a public tender and exclude these two consortiums.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the rules of good governance state that if there is a project of more than 250.000 guilders, there must be a public tender. In this case, contractors can compete against each other, thus the Minister’s argument to deviate from the rules is not valid. This is the reason why the Ministry rejects the proposal to deviate from the rules of good governance. They also indicated that a public tender does not have to take much time.

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