Police stations contract to be scrapped
- Published: 4/02/2013 at 04:13 PM
- Online news:
The police panel investigating alleged corruption in the long-delayed construction of buildings and offices at 396 police stations has recommended that the contract awarded to PCC Development and Construction Co (PCC) finally be scrapped, deputy national police chief Worapong Chiewpreecha said on Monday.
Pol Gen Worapong, the committee chairman, said the decision was made after PCC managing director Piboon Udomsithikul and his lawyer Nawapol Pratmalai finally appeared to explain to the panel why the firm could not complete the work required by the contract.
The police committee had previously asked four or five times for an explanation of PCC's forward construction plans, he said, but the company would not send its representatives for examination.
"Therefore, the panel has resolved to recommend that the contract be terminated.
"However, before doing that the chairmen of the inspection teams of the Regions 1-9 Provincial Police Bureaus and the police operational centre of the southern border provinces will first be required to submit reports for the panel to consider," Pol Gen Worapong said.
He said PCC argued that one of the reasons it was not able to complete the construction was the major flooding in 2011.
However, there were also reports that the company lacked liquidity, Pol Gen Worapong said.
He said each of the regional police bureaus would have to prepare a case to sue PCC for damages.
The Royal Thai Police Office would not immediately file a case seeking the termination of the contract. It would wait until March 14, when the latest extension of the contract expires, in order to be at an advantage.
A police station in Surin province is a victim of the long delayed project awarded to PCC Development and Construction Co. (Photo by Nopparat Kingkaew)
PCC managing director Piboon said there were many reasons why the company was unable to complete the police buildings. He insisted the company does not have a liquidity problem.
The company would hold a press conference next week to explain everything, he said.
PCC was the only firm selected and signed by the police agency for the entire construction project on March 26, 2011.
The quote was for 5.84 billion baht, lower than the estimated median price of 6.67 billion baht.
The company's selection broke the practice under which all regional police bureaus normally were allowed to call for bids for work in their individual areas of responsibility.
Instead, one company was given the contract for all the construction work.
The company was supposed to hand over the completed project to the police office on June 17 last year but despite the very slow progress in the construction the deadline was extended by cabinet to March 14 this year.
The Department of Special Investigation decided to take up the project as a special case on Monday.
Police at stations across the country have fumed at the lack of progress in the construction of their long promised buildings, while they continue to work out of makeshift offices without any facilities.
Many of the planned buildings have only just been started, or even not begun at all.
For example, only two of the buildings contracted at 16 stations under Provincial Police Office Region 1, overseeing central provinces, are currently being built, according to regional police chief Pol Maj Gen Nares Nanthachote.
Pol Maj Gen Chaithat Inthujit, chief of the Surin police force, has said that the delay had caused trouble for police and people visiting police stations after the contractor disappeared.
Surin is supposed to have 13 new police buildings and all of them were delayed, including the biggest project, a new station in Muang district whose construction began in mid-2012 and had since stopped, he added.
PCC was also awarded another contract to build 163 police flats throughout the country in a deal worth 3.8 billion baht. The ruling Pheu Thai Party suspects irregularities in this agreement.
The contracts were issued under the previous government.
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- Writer: Online Reporters
Position: Online Reporters