As the investigation of the bribery scandal in the bidding process for the Taipei Twin Towers project continues, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday dismissed concerns about Taipei City Finance Department Commissioner Chiu Da-chan’s (邱大展) position in the project, and said the city government would not jump to conclusions before the final rulings are announced.
Prosecutors summoned Chiu on Wednesday on suspicion that he leaked information on the list of project review panel members to the developer helping it win the bid. He was released later the same day and returned to work at Taipei City Hall.
“We will not protect any civil servants that are found to have been involved in illegal acts. However, we must not rush to conclusions before the final ruling is announced. In the meantime, we need to protect innocent civil servants and safeguard their rights,” he said in response to media queries.
Chiu yesterday declined to comment on his alleged involvement in the scandal.
The developer, a multinational consortium led by Taipei Gateway International Development, lost its bid for the NT$70 billion (US$2.4 billion) project after it failed to provide a NT$1.89 billion performance bond by Feb. 21.
Taipei City councilors have accused Hau and city officials including Chiu of covering up for the developer, but the mayor has defended the bidding process, saying that it was conducted according to the highest standards and followed legal procedures.
The failed cooperation with the developer also resulted in the resignation of former head of Taipei City Department of Rapid Transit Systems Richard Chen (陳椿亮).
In accordance with the bidding process, the city government is to start negotiating a contract with second-highest bidder, BES Engineering Corp, to proceed with the construction.
Hau said the city government would seek more information on the investigation, and if prosecutors conclude that the bidding process was flawed, negotiations with the second bidder may be delayed.
The project was initiated by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in 2004 when he was Taipei mayor and had suffered four failed bids prior to last year.