DORTS head offers to quit over Twin Towers delay

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Mon, Feb 25, 2013 - Page 3

Taipei City Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS) Commissioner Richard Chen (陳椿亮) yesterday tendered his resignation over the indefinite delay of the Taipei Twin Towers project due to the first-priority bidder’s failure to furnish a performance bond.

The international consortium led by Taipei Gateway International Development Corporation won the bid in October last year for the NT$70 billion (US$2.36 billion) development project, but was disqualified 110 days later because it failed to provide guarantee funds of NT$1.89 billion by Thursday.

The collapsed cooperation between the city government and the consortium raised concerns over the bidding process, while Taipei City councilors urged DORTS, which handles the development project, and city officials to be held accountable.

Chen said he offered his resignation to take political responsibility for the collapsed cooperation with the consortium, but dismissed allegations that the city government preferred the consortium and helped it win the bid.

“We followed legal procedures in the bidding process, and the development project will continue because we will discuss the contract with second-priority bidder. As a city official, I am willing to take the political responsibility for the failed cooperation,” Chen said.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) confirmed he had received Chen’s resignation, but did not discuss whether he had approved the resignation.

“We are looking at the administrative responsibilities of related departments over the failure to sign the contract with the first-priority bidder. The project is not the only reason for the change of city officials. It has been our plan to have a small-scale personnel reshuffle recently,” he said.

It is not clear why the winning consortium led by Malaysia-based IGB Corp Bhd and Mid Valley City Sdn Bhd failed to make the deposit, he said, but speculated that it might have been due to internal problems.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Wang Shi-chien (王世堅) also called for the resignation of 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 Public Works Commissioner Chang Pei-yi (張培義) and Department of Urban Development Commissioner Ting Yu-chun (丁育群) because they were all on the project review committee.

The city government will complete a personnel reshuffle next month in the wake of the appointment of former Taipei deputy mayor Chen Wei-zen (陳威仁) as Executive Yuan secretary-general, Hau said.

Department of Transportation Commissioner Jason Lin (林志盈) will also leave Hau’s team after he announced last week that he would retire from the post.

Additional reporting by CNA