The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) will ask budgetary authorities if the delayed 5.8-billion-baht police stations construction project breached procurement regulations.
Thanin Prempree, the DSI's director for corruption prevention and suppression, said he would ask the Budget Bureau and Comptroller-General's Department (CGD) today about the legality of the project.
Mr Thanin said he will ask if the project was illegitimately altered to award a single contract to one bidder to construct the 396 police station buildings nationwide.
He will also ask officials about the electronic auction used to select the contractor for the project.
The DSI is investigating who approved the decision to award the contract to build the stations to a single contractor, PCC Development and Construction Co (PCC).
Work on the stations was abandoned after PCC allegedly failed to pay the sub-contractors it had employed to carry out construction.
The DSI has questioned former national police chiefs who were involved in the project. They insisted on their innocence.
The scope of the investigation is now expanding, Mr Thanin said.
The DSI intends to question Pol Lt Gen Theerayuth Kitiwat, the former acting chief of the police's logistics division, which supervised the process of bringing all the building projects under one contract, he said.
"Whether politicians will also be questioned will depend on the collection of evidence and witness accounts," Mr Thanin said.
"If the [evidence] is deemed sufficient, they will not be questioned and the investigation can be concluded and sent to the National Anti-Corruption Commission for questioning and indictment."
DSI director-general Tarit Pengdith also met national police chief Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew yesterday.
The Royal Thai Police Office (RTPO) earlier investigated the project and found no irregularities.
The DSI has continued to insist that irregularities exist.
Mr Tarit said, however, that DSI and RTPO investigators would cooperate.
PCC violated a law on bid rigging and its contract with the RTPO by sub-contracting its work to several other builders, Mr Tarit said.
The contract deadline for completion of all 396 police stations nationwide is March 14.
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- Writer: King-oua Laohong