The Taipei Universiade Organizing Committee is willing to respond to public inquiry, spokesman Yang Ching-tang (楊景棠) said yesterday, pleading with the public to “not make false reports anonymously.”
The remarks came after Chinese-language weekly Next Magazine yesterday reported possible irregularities in procurement for the Universiade, which has a total budget of about NT$17.1 billion (US$568.2 million).
The event is to start in 72 days and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has said more than once that he is confident Taipei could organize the games better than the two preceding cities.
PHOTO: Wang Jung-hsiang, Taipei Times
The Taipei City Government on Monday last week said that renovation of the last venue still to be completed before the start of the games is expected to conclude by the middle of this month.
Next Magazine cited alleged irregularities in the renting of large LED screens, procurement of sports timing and data system, catering services and the cost of venue renovation and construction.
The Taipei Department of Culture Affairs is in charge of preparing large LED screens for the opening and closing ceremonies and a contractor had mostly rented screens from a company in China at an exorbitant price, some of which are second-hand screens, the magazine said.
The contractor of the games’ sports timing and data system is ising equipment used in the 21st Summer Deaflympics in 2009, it said, adding that the city’s Department of Information Technology had even tried to allocate an additional budget for this “careless” procurement.
The magazine also accused the company contracted for catering at the Universiade’s athletic village of bid-rigging, claiming that the contractor has not yet prepared a menu or set up a stable food supply chain.
While Ko received praise for saving money by building a prefabricated swimming pool for about NT$170 million, that type of pool only costs about NT$30 million, it said, adding that a basketball ring built for NT$210 million appears to only be suitable for trial matches.
Chang Ting (張婷), a division chief at the Department of Cultural Affairs, yesterday said the LED screens were supplied by a company in China, because Taiwanese companies could not meet the demand, but that the rent was only about one-fifth of the amount reported.
Yang said four displays had been used eight years ago, and the department had already informed the contractor and deducted payment,.
They will not be used in the official games, he said.
The magazine’s allegations about the catering tender being rigged were false, Yang said.
The caterer has also sent the menu to the International University Sports Federation in March, and the organizing committee will publish the menu online this week, he said.
Yang said not all basketball matches would be held in one venue.
Considering the popularity of the sport in Taiwan, the committee has decided to hold the final match at Taipei Arena, he said.
All procurement had followed legally established procedures, he said.
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