Mayor defends Twin Towers project bidding process

HIGH STANDARDS::All potential investors went through credit checks and the city government followed all legal procedures during the bidding process, Hau Lung-bin said

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Feb 24, 2013 - Page 3

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday defended the bidding process of the Taipei Twin Towers project and dismissed allegations that related department heads on the project review committee will be replaced over the collapsed cooperation between the city government and the developer.

The developer, a multinational consortium led by Taipei Gateway International Development, lost its bid for the NT$70 billion (US$2.4 billion) development project after it failed to furnish a NT$1.89 billion performance bond by Thursday.

The failed cooperation sparked concerns about the bidding process and some Taipei City councilors accused Hau of covering up for the developer while calling for the resignation of related department heads, including Taipei City Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS) Commissioner Richard Chen (陳椿亮), Finance Department Commissioner Chiu Da-chan (邱大展), the city’s Department of Legal Affairs Commissioner Tsai Li-wen (蔡立文), Department of Transportation Commissioner Jason Lin (林志盈), Department of Public Works Commissioner Chang Pei-yi (張培義) and Department of Urban Development Commissioner Ting Yu-chun (丁育群).

Hau yesterday said the city government had adopted the highest standards and followed legal procedures during the bidding process, and the review committee, composed of 17 experts from the city government and related fields, evaluated the qualification of the bidders based on their professionalism.

The city government also invited two credit investigation companies to examine the financial records of all potential investors and the consortium, which is composed of Taipei Gateway International Development and IGB and Mid Valley City, both from Malaysia. All the involved parties went through credit checks before the consortium won the bidding for the project, Hau said.

“City representatives on the review committee participated in the review of bidders based on their professionalism. They did not favor any particular bidder in the process, and so no one has to resign over the case,” he told reporters yesterday at Taipei City Hall.

Chen said that the development project will not be affected by the incident, and the city government will start contract negotiations with the second bidder, BES Engineering Corp.

As for the wire transfer record faxed to the DORTS on Thursday night to prove that it had paid the performance bond, the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office has launched a probe to investigate whether Taipei Gateway International Development forged the record.