ROAD maintenance contracts costing taxpayers millions of dollars have been awarded to two companies in Honiara without being put on public tender, it was revealed this week.
The two companies have little or no road maintenance experience at all, a former Public Works Department engineer, Onesimus Ramo told Solomon Star.
Mr. Ramo said he was fed up with government parting with tens of millions of dollars to companies which have no trained workforce let alone experience to build quality roads.
These contracts should be put out on public tender so that everyone has a chance to bid,” he said.
“The oft-repeated phrase of enough is enough should be put into action. My question is when can we see this being put into action,” the frustrated former PWD worker said.
Mr. Ramo said he could not see why the Government continues to ignore qualified PWD engineers who can do a much better job than just filling out the potholes which easily wash out the next day.
“These people are not doing value for money work at all. The road maintenance crew are no longer what they used to be. Instead, they have taken on a new name. the dirt brigade,” Mr. Ramo said.
“What is the trick here, is it yamcha? We need to know so that local people with the expertise, know-how and experience can also be given the chance to participate in our economic development,” Mr. Ramo said.
“Right now, it is a one-way street – the same people all the time,” he said.
But Permanent Secretary of the Ministery of Infrastructure and Development Stephen Maesiola explains that the two contractors were awarded by the Central Tender Board (CTB) on emergency situations for the first three months of this year.
He said the Tenders will be put out during this three months period and award a contractor for the rest of the year until December.
In a press conference Tuesday last week PS Masiola announced three contractors have been awarded to do road maintainance from Henderson to White River.
They are EMCO Company, Triple-S and Xiao Company.
“I am happy to announce here that lot one which begins from Henderson to Vura junction was awarded to EMCO Company. Lot two from Vura to White River was awarded to Triple-S Company and lot 3 from Naha to Kolaridge was awarded to Xiao Company.”
He said these contractors has been informed through letters of award on 12January and should start soon.
The MID Permanent Secretary said for the Honiara Feeder Roads, both sealed and unsealed, they are now seeking quotes from interested contractors.
He said these quotes will go through Central Tender Board before the formalisation of contracts.
By Alfred Sasako