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KUWAIT CITY, Oct 10: Mystery still surrounds the direct contract that the Ministry of Public Works is seeking to conclude with the Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company, reports Al-Rai daily.
The contract is worth 50 million dinars for management, operation and maintenance of the Sheikh Jaber Bridge for 5 years.
This happened after the Central Agency for Public Tenders last July allowed the ministry to go ahead with the negotiation procedures with the company and re-bid it although the request to sign the contract was turned down the first time.
Informed sources told the daily the Public Works Minister Jenan Ramadan had formed a committee to study the offers of companies to manage and maintain the bridge.
The committee was chaired by Suha Ashkanani, Director-General of the Public Authority for Roads Transport prior to signing the contract with the lowest bidder.
The sources pointed out after the bid of the Korean company GS, which implemented the Doha link, was turned down it was left for the committee to study Hyundai’s offer, to go for direct contract.
The sources expressed surprise that the ministry addressed two companies to solicit their offers and not to address the rest of the companies that have the capacity and efficiency to carry out such works.
The sources pointed out that the ministry was trying during that period to consume time as much as possible until the expiry of the construction warranty period specified a year since the ministry received the project to distance itself from any accountability related to this part, noting that the committee finally met with representatives of Hyundai to negotiate the price offer.
The Central Agency for Tenders had addressed the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers to retrieve the tender documents in its possession for urgent examination to confirm the conditions and controls of the contract for the construction of Sheikh Jaber Bridge, after MP Osama Al-Shaheen asked Minister Jinan Ramadan about the reasons for not putting the project in a public tender. The approval by the tenders authority after refusing to negotiate on the direct order at the request of the ministry, also received a warning from MP Majed Al-Mutairi that the issue of ‘direct contract’ will be the subject of questioning in the next Parliament session.