Taoyuan International Airport Corp (TIAC) yesterday said that it would soon open a new public tender for the Terminal 3 construction project after discovering a major conflict of interest involving a bidder.
The airport operator on Monday last week announced that a construction team formed by Samsung C & T and RSEA Engineering Corp had passed a second review, and that it would finalize the tender tomorrow by awarding the contract to the team.
However, when examining the team’s tender documents for the last time, the company found that one of the members of its review committee also served as a consultant for the construction team in contravention of the Government Procurement Act (政府採購法), it said.
Following a consultation with the Public Constructions Commission, the company on Friday last week decided to invalidate the tender and said that it would soon open a new round of public tender for the project after completing administrative procedures.
Many are concerned that the much-anticipated project — which went through multiple rounds of public tenders — could be further delayed due to the latest incident.
TIAC acting chairman Lin Kuo-hsien (林國顯) yesterday said the company could restart the tender quickly, as the object, budget and time frame for the project remain the same.
“As review committee members know the items to be evaluated and percentage points assigned to them, we might have to redesign our evaluation system,” Lin said, adding that the company might replace the committee members.
The Samsung-RSEA team can still participate in the new public tender, despite contravening the act, but this means the efforts it had put in the previous round had been in vain, Lin said.
The incident would not stop TIAC from continuing with the project, Lin said, adding that it would delay the construction of the terminal by only two to three months.
Based on the timeline laid out by TIAC, the company is to start using the north satellite concourse in 2024 and the main terminal in 2025. The south satellite concourse is to be completed by 2026.
About 7.43 million passengers accessed Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport last year, down from 48.69 million in 2019, Civil Aeronautics Administration data showed.
The dramatic decline in the number of air passengers caused the company to post a loss of NT$1.9 billion (US$66.88 million) last year.
According to government regulations, employees of state-owned companies cannot receive year-end bonuses if the company fails to generate a profit.
“TIAC’s financial losses were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, over which it has no control. However, the company’s employees have contributed a great deal in containing the outbreak. We would bring up this matter in our meetings with Executive Yuan officials,” Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said.
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