The government-appointed Water and Flood Management Commission yesterday agreed to relax the criteria for selecting contractors to implement its 350-billion-baht flood prevention scheme.
The move follows mounting criticism that the selection criteria were designed to favour large foreign companies, and exclude smaller local contractors.
Previously, the terms of reference (ToR) of the government's bidding scheme stated that each contractor must have built projects with a combined value of at least 30 billion baht in the past 10 years. Critics suggested the commission intended to hand over the lucrative megaprojects to wealthy overseas contractors.
The commission, chaired by Science and Technology Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi, agreed to change the ToR of the scheme to remove the 30-billion-baht requirement, said Supoj Tovichakchaikul, secretary-general of the Office of the National Water and Flood Management Policy.
The new requirement says that prospective bidders need to have completed a project worth at least 10% of the total value of any flood management project they apply for, he said.
In a project to construct 120-billion baht floodways, for instance, the prospective bidders must have constructed a project worth at least 12 billion baht in the past decade, Mr Supoj said.
This should provide a better chance for Thai companies to compete in the bidding for construction contracts under the scheme, he added.
The commission's decision to change the ToR will be forwarded to the cabinet for final approval next Tuesday, he said.
As for the criteria for scoring the prospective bidders, 35% of the score will deal with the design and techniques proposed for implementing the project, as well as the potential impact of the construction on the communities and the environment, Mr Supoj said.
Another 35% of the score will rate the cost and proposed schedule and 20% of the score will be based on the experience of the companies. The remaining 10% would take into account any other additional benefits or qualifications the companies might have to offer.
The list of companies eligible to bid would be announced on Sept 24. So far, 395 companies have expressed an interest in bidding for flood prevention projects, and only they will be considered.
The results of the selection will be announced on Jan 31, 2013 he added.
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Writer: Patsara Jikkham