Monday, August 10

‘Open tender system for federal, state projects the right way to go’


KUCHING: The Sarawak Building and Civil Engineering Contractors Association (SBCECA) is grateful that the government has finally taken the initiative to implement an open tender system for both federal and state-funded projects in Sarawak.

It said that such initiative would mean that the days of direct negotiation or selected tenders are finally over.

However, the association also pointed out that there are rumours being widely circulated in the construction industry that open tender exercises for federal-funded projects have not been followed through with an award of the project to the lowest qualified tenderer.

“For example, three recent tenders called by the Ministry of Rural Development were awarded to tenderers ranked 22nd out of 51 tenderers, 28th out of 58 and 31st out 51.

“Industry players are puzzled by the method of evaluation and selection of these successful tenderers. There are good contractors who have submitted more competitive pricings but they were not selected,” the association said in a statement yesterday.

It thus urged the federal government to review the method of evaluation and selection of successful tenderers; have oversight to check possible abuse of power or practice of favouritism conducted by executives in their evaluation and recommendation; and ensure that tenders are awarded to lowest qualified contractors.

“We understand that the federal government is operating under a very tight budget as constantly highlighted by the Finance Minister.”

“However, it is rather strange that other ministries are awarding tenders to tenderers whose quotations are higher by more than ten per cent to that of the lowest price tenderer,” it said.

Meanwhile, SBCECA said its members have yet to receive progress payment for school projects implemented by the Ministry of Education since May 2019.

It thus called upon the Ministry of Finance to allocate sufficient funds to various implementing agencies so that contractors can be paid promptly.

On another matter, the association said it will be working together with Master Builders Association Malaysian (MBAM) to increase the level of safety awareness in the construction industry through the site safety supervisor (SSS) course.

“The upcoming course will be held from Aug 23 to 30 and we urge construction industry players and developers to send their supervisors to attend SSS which are limited to 25 participants only.

“Interested industry players are welcome to register their supervisors with MBAM,” it said.

Application forms can be downloaded from MBAM’s website at Alternatively, email [email protected] or [email protected]