The Taipei City Government yesterday announced a first round of bids for major city construction projects.
Representatives from about 160 firms attended an information session at the Regent Taipei hotel, which outlined 23 projects with a combined budget of NT$43 billion (US$1.4 billion).
The event was hailed as a success by the administration of independent Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), as it was the first time there had been an open information session on bidding for major city construction contracts.
“In the past, you had to have connections to know which departments had what bids,” Ko said, adding that openness and transparency was the simplest way to disperse the “poisonous smoke” which used to hover over the bidding process.
Ko said that he had directed the city’s new United Outsourcing Center (聯合發包中心) to put calls for bids online for all projects larger than NT$5 million.
Ko added that the city government would establish a system to handle contractor complaints to reduce unnecessary litigation resulting from the unwillingness of officials to negotiate when faced with contractor complaints.
Deputy Mayor Teng Chia-chi (鄧家基) said a new complaint center would be established with the city’s United Outsourcing Center to give contractors a single contact point for resolving any issues.
Construction of “transitional housing” made up the vast majority of the contract bids announced by value, with the city planning to construct 6,708 housing units at nine different sites with a combined budget of more than NT$36 billion.
A bid was notably opened for the construction of housing on the site of the Zhongyi Elementary School (忠義國小) in the city’s Zhongzheng District (中正), despite vocal opposition from the local borough warden.
“Housing will be constructed on the site of Zhongyi Elementary School, but there is still space for discussion of how it will be constructed,” Ko said, adding that he would meet with residents, borough wardens and school principals from the surrounding area today.
The elementary school is slated for closure to allow for transitional housing to facilitate the redevelopment of the surrounding Nanjichang area (南機場).
Department of Urban Development Commissioner Lin Jou-min (林洲民) said that the central point of controversy between the city and local borough warden was over the size of the area that should be redeveloped, with the borough warden only advocating the redevelopment of one section of the Nanjichang area.
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