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Singapore collapse puts public works procurement method under spotlight

NEWS

PROCUREMENT OF public works in Singapore is under severe scrutiny following the Nicoll Highway collapse (GE May 04).

Last month it was revealed that the successful tender of joint venture contractor NishimatsuLam Chang for the project was 25% lower than its nearest competitor bid. But Singapore transport minister Yeo Cheow Tong said that as the tender was close to the Land Transport Authority's pretender estimate it was 'only logical' to give it the contract.

The Ministry of Development says contracts are awarded on the basis of best value for money in terms of quality and performance.

For the Nicoll Highway Circle Line contract, the LTA received six tenders and shortlisted three. Two committees decided that Nishimatsu-Lum Chang's proposal was 'either technically equal to or better in various aspects than the other two' A government spokesman said: 'It is not necessary that the contract will go to the lowest bidder; between April and December last year, 28% of all public sector contracts were not awarded to the lowest bidder.'

lThe Singapore government is to launch an incentive scheme to boost safety in the construction industry.

Speaking at the World Tunnel Congress in Singapore in May, transport minister Yeo Cheow Tong said contractors with a good safety performance will be rewarded with an extra 0.5% of the contract sum, to a maximum of S$1M (£340,000).

Those with poor safety performance may lose an equivalent amount off the contract value.

Yeo said: 'This new scheme will provide an added incentive for contractors to promote safe practices at their work sites.'

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