Kinmen Bridge facing delays as bids reviewed

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Dec 07, 2012 - Page 4

The government has yet to decide if it will change the contractor for the construction of Kinmen Bridge, the National Expressway Engineering Bureau said.

The 5.4km bridge will connect the two largest islands in Kinmen County and a NTS$6.5 billion (US$223.5 million) contract was granted to Hua Chi Construction, which began construction in May this year.

The project is scheduled to be completed by August 2016. However, another contractor who tendered a bid, RSEA Engineering, questioned the qualifications of Hua Chi, accusing the company of having no experience in bridge construction. The contractor also accused Hua Chi of failing to meet the tendering requirements.

While the bureau found no flaws in the tenders for the contract, the Public Construction Commission — the administrative agency in charge of enforcing the Government Procurement Act (政府採購法) — ruled that Hua Chi had contravened the act as the information presented to the bureau did not match the bidding requirements for contractors. The commission also revoked the bureau’s ruling on the dispute.

The bureau said that the act authorizes the government agency to terminate or rescind the contract and allows it to claim for damages against the tenderer if it is found to have failed to comply with the requirements of the tender documentation after signing of the contract, except in cases where it is deemed by a superior government agency that the termination or rescission of the contract is not in the public interest.

The bureau said it has been commissioned by the Kinmen County Government to oversee the project and it will discuss with the county government whether they wish to replace the contractor or suspend construction.