Anutin sought over water project bids

Anutin sought over water project bids

Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said two companies sought his advice after they were unsuccessful in bidding for a water production project.

The Metropolitan Waterworks Authority (MWA) launched an e-bidding process to find contractors for a project to expand water production capacity to 800,000 cubic metres per day at its Mahasawat tap water production facility in Nonthaburi's Bang Kruai district, with a median price set at 6.52 billion baht.

The contract was awarded to the ITA Consortium comprising Italian-Thai Development Plc and Aquathai Co which offered the price of 6.4 billion baht.

Vongsayam Korsang Co and Sino-Thai Engineering and Construction Plc (Stec), which offered the lowest and second-lowest prices at 6.15 billion baht and 6.19 billion baht, respectively, lost out in the bidding as the MWA argued they did not meet the qualification criteria set by the terms of reference (ToR).

This prompted both companies to appeal to the MWA and a committee from the Comptroller-General's Department (CGD) that handles appeals and complaints.

The CGD's appeal committee ruled on Tuesday that the companies did meet the criteria and instructed the MWA to follow a proper course of action in line with the Public Procurement and Supplies Management Act.

Mr Anutin said yesterday both companies contacted him over their failed bids.

"There may be a lack of transparency. Efforts may have been made to help losing bidders to win," Mr Anutin said. "So the two companies sought my advice. I told them to use the right to appeal. Initially, the MWA rejected their appeal, but fortunately, the CGD has ruled in their favour."

He said he was grateful the CGD accepted the appeal. "If the matter had been ignored, this would have caused damage to taxpayers," he said. "As a Bhumjaithai Party leader, I told all party MPs who sit on related House committees to look into the issue further."

Mr Anutin is a former president of Sino-Thai Construction Plc but he said he now has nothing to do with the company.

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