Evaluation process for 2 mega projects adhere to SOP, assures JKR

The proposed Second Trunk Road project marked with dotted coloured lines, also marked with the yellow boxes. The solid black and solid red lines are the Pan Borneo Highway and the Coastal Road respectively.

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Oct 17: The state Public Works Department (JKR) has clarified that the evaluation process for the entire Pre-Qualification Process for the Coastal Road Network and Second Trunk Road projects had been carried out according to Treasury Instructions, administrative procedures and guidelines.

The department highlighted the evaluations were based strictly on the contractors’ submissions.

“Thus, the onus is on the contractors to provide genuine documents for evaluation purposes,” it said in a statement issued to DayakDaily today.

JKR was responding to a commentary published by DayakDaily on Oct 12, 2018, titled ‘The ugly side of open tender rearing its head in Sarawak?‘.

The statement further clarified that as an integral part of the state government’s pursuit in propagating public accountability, transparency and integrity through its transformation strategy, it was now mandatory for all government officials as well as bidders involved in the public procurement process to sign and enter into an integrity pact to eradicate any unethical conduct in handling public procurement.

“Hence, the entire Pre-Qualification Process for the Coastal Road Network and Second Trunk Road (respectively) have been strictly carried out pursuant to Treasury Instructions, administrative procedures and guidelines to ensure that the sanctity of the process is maintained and upheld, as with any other procurement process for other government projects already or to be implemented.

“In this regard, there are no less than four (4) separate committees that are completely independent of each other, comprising about 30 officials, with participation and observation from the Ministry concerned and the State Financial Secretary’s Office in the pre-qualification exercise, leading to the final list of pre-qualified contractors for the purpose of future biddings for the Coastal Road Network and Second Trunk Road.

“Thus, there is obviously no such incident of the pre-qualified list being decided by “a few senior officials who hold key positions within JKR Sarawak” as alleged. Albeit, the minister is not involved in the selection process, but the Ministry itself is directly involved in ensuring that the integrity of the entire process is maintained,” it claimed.

Silhouettes of workers on a construction site. — DayakDaily.com file pic. // Photo: Pixabay

JKR also explained that arising from the issuance of the Appendix for the Pre-Qualification Exercise, the criterion for Joint Venture Consortium (JVC) was clarified and stipulated verbatim as follows: “In any JVC / proposed JVC, each of the partners / intended partners is only allowed to form a Joint Venture or Consortium ONCE and not multiple times, including the Lead Sarawakian partner”.

“Hence, based on the above, the criterion never stipulates any issues pertaining to subsidiary companies participating as a JVC partner nor disallow them from doing so as far as they are bona fide construction entities with their own standalone merits vis-a-vis, they possess their own standalone resources (both technically and financially) and has the required mandatory experience.

“Subsidiary companies are allowed to participate even if their parent company also happens to be a JVC partner with other lead local companies in the same pre-qualification exercise,” it said.

JKR stressed that the above matter was taken into account to encourage competitive bidding, where more contractors could be prequalified for tender purposes to ensure the most cost effective pricing.

“Evaluation and assessment of the financial capability of the contractors to be prequalified also takes a look at the net worth of the contractors, where collectively any JVC should have a total cumulative net worth of RM20 million and each partner in the JVC is to have a minimum RM2 million net worth each based on audited accounts or interim audited accounts,” it said.

Meanwhile, pertaining to the Sarawak Water Supply Grid Programme under the Ministry of Utilities, where JKR is not involved in the programme, the department clarified that it was not tampering with the project as the selection of the prequalified contractors is under the purview of Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) Sarawak.

“The state government in its effort to improve the construction industry’s competitive edge is working towards the development of strategies for industry players to become global solution providers as well as to provide necessary leverage to support sustainable wealth and value creation due to the huge impact the industry has on the state’s economy.

“JKR Sarawak has thus been empowered and entrusted to support Sarawak’s socio-economic needs by ensuring the best investment value of the highest quality with an impeccable on-time delivery of infrastructure development projects consistent with the state government’s aspirations and policies for the continuous pursuit and consequential realisation of all projects proposed for the ultimate development and progress of Sarawak,” it added. — DayakDaily