By MALUM NALU
Sports and Pacific Games Minister Justin Tkatchenko says said there is “nothing sinister” about the awarding of a K263 million contract to China Railway Construction Engineering (CRCE) to build the 2015 Pacific Games Village at University of PNG.
He said this when asked by The National as to how and why CRCE was awarded a contract worth more than K263 million to build the village, despite the job being valued at only K190m by New Zealand engineering consultancy firm, Warren and Mahoney.
This is also despite CRCE failing to meet annual turnover requirements, not providing information on working capital, liquid assets and/or credit facilities, and no certificate of compliance to confirm payment of tax to the Internal Revenue Commission, disqualifying it from further evaluation for the contract.
“There is nothing sinister,” Tkatchenko said.
“I see nothing wrong.
“It’s gone through every process possible to come up to this final action.
“People will find nothing out of it.
“At the end of the day, we’ve recommended the best possible contractor to do the job on time.
“The most important thing for us is to get the job done on time.”
Asked about CRCE failing to come up with a certificate of compliance from the IRC, Tkatchenko said: “I wouldn’t have a clue.
“I’ve never heard about that.
“They (CRCE) must have complied if they are awarded the contract.
“Central Supply and Tenders Board (CSTB) made their evaluation from the current circumstances.
“That’s Central Supply and Tenders Board’s job.
“I had no issue with that.”
Fletcher Morobe Construction was recommended by the tender evaluation committee (TEC) to the CSTB ahead of nine other bidders to be awarded the contract at a cost of K191, 453, 553.80, however, this was somehow given to CRCE.
Tkatchenko, however, said Fletcher Morobe was willing to do that Aquatic Centre at 3-Mile so the village contract - with a deadline of March 2015 - was given to CRCE.
He said he asked the TEC why CRCE was given the village contract, despite Fletcher Morobe winning the bid.
“The answer that they (TEC) gave me was that Fletcher Morobe was happy to do the Aquatic Centre,” Tkatchenko said.
“They were more than happy to do the Aquatic Centre.”
Tkatchenko said the tender bids went through the TEC, CSTB, State Solicitor, on to Cabinet to make a decision, back to State Solicitor to draw up the contracts, and then on to Governor-General to sign.
He said CRCE was working with New Zealand engineering consultancy company, Becca, on behalf of the government as project manager, with Curtain Brothers doing the groundwork