Vanuatu Builders Construction and Allied Industries Association President, Mr James Matariki. Photo: Glenda Willie

The Vanuatu Builders Construction and Allied Industries Association have questioned the Tender Board’s decision to award the tender to construct the new Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM) Office in Luganville, Santo to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).

President of the Association, Mr James Matariki wrote to the Tender Board and gave them an ultimatum of 10 working days beginning Monday this week to justify their reasons of awarding the Santo project to CCECC.

He showed a document, revealing names of local construction companies and CCECC, as well as their bids for the construction of the finance building.

According to the document, CCECC’s bid of Vt134,620, 000 was the highest. The rest of the seven bids from local construction companies were below Vt110, 000,000.

“We want to know why the bids of seven tenderers which were of an average sum, compared to CCECC’s bid were rejected and CCECC got the award, not one of the local bidders,” Mr Matariki said.

He stressed the local construction companies want the Chairman of the Tender Board to justify why CCECC was awarded that particular tender.

In the letter addressed to the Chairman of Tender Board, Matariki stated, “It appears to us that the Tender Board continues to undermine our workmanship and continues to deprive us in our own country, and neglecting us in our own industry.”

The Association’s president said they understood that a local company also bid for the demolition of the MFEM building in Port Vila but CCECC also won that bid.

He said it is sad to see that that there are works which can be undertaken by local construction companies, but, they were being overlooked at, and foreign companies such as CCECC are grabbing these away from them.

“To us, the government is depriving us of these opportunities to expand our services.”

Daily Post’s attempts to reach the Chairman of the Tender Board were unsuccessful. However, a reliable source who wished to remain unnamed explained some of the processes on how tenders are awarded to the bidders.

The source explained there are strict requirements that tenderers or bidders must meet in order to win the tenders.

According to the source, the total cost is not the only requirement that the Tender Board would be looking at as requirements also include the company’s’ financial status, their overall reputation, and their track record or proven history, to name a few.

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