DSI probes building delays

An investigation into construction delays of 396 police buildings nationwide is to be ramped up, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) says.

Tarit Pengdith, Department of Special Investigation chief, inspects the site of a police station in Ayutthaya’s Maha Rat district after the contractor abandoned work. SUNTHORN PONGPAO

The investigators have been told to inspect construction sites and gather information about alleged irregularities so the DSI can proceed with the case, department chief Tarit Pengdith said.

The construction delays are causing problems for police, with officers at many stations working in makeshift structures while they await the completion of new buildings. In many cases the old buildings have been demolished and some police units are paying rent for the temporary offices.

The Royal Thai Police awarded a 5-billion-baht contract to PCC Development and Construction to put up buildings at 396 police stations nationwide.

The buildings were to be completed and handed over on June 17 last year, but the firm missed the deadline.

Mr Tarit inspected Don Phut station in Saraburi's Don Phut district and Rong Chang station in Ayutthaya's Maha Rat district. He was accompanied by Pheu Thai list-MP Prompong Nopparit, who is vice-chairman of the House committee on corruption.

The DSI chief said the agency last week sent a letter to the Royal Thai Police office recommending the contract be scrapped.

He said a new contractor should be hired to complete the work because the current firm is unlikely to be able to get the job done.

The contractor beat five other bidders in 2010 with an offer that was 450 million baht below the estimated budget, Mr Tarit said.

However, Mr Tarit said the contractor breached the contract after it failed to deliver the work by deadline and subcontracted the work to other firms.