Contract shower

The Government plans to award an estimated $3.2 billion worth of projects over the next 12 months, the Ministry of Finance said on Friday.

The figure, which is the lowest in three years, is less than half of last year’s $7.5 billion and about a-third less than the $4.7 billion projected in 2005.

Today understands that the latest estimate is culled from the various public-sector agencies’ projections and may change during the course of the fiscal year ending Mar 31, 2008.

Of the present 933 procurement contracts, 258 of them worth some $1.8 billion are for building works. One of the major projects is a $65-million deal for the track work of Downtown Line 1.

The Ministry of Education will call for tenders for five school rebuilding and upgrading contracts worth $30 million each.

Information technology companies can look forward to more than 300 contracts worth a total of $730 million, which the Government had announced earlier in the week.

In the area of goods and services, tenders will amount to $635 million. Some of the big-ticket items include a tender for PUB’s $70-million sludge disposal for water recycling plants, and two National Environment Agency tenders for street cleaning worth another $70 million.

Separately, the Government will soon award a $1.5-billion contract to homogenise its computer infrastructure across most agencies. If this project for a Standard ICT Operating Environment is given out this year, the dollar figure will be added to the year’s actual contracts awarded, said a spokesperson from the Finance Ministry.

This pre-procurement plan was started in 2003 with the aim of giving suppliers and contractors early information on what the public sector planned to buy in the year.

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Source: Weekend Today, 28 April 2007

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