HA NOI (VNS)— A claim that contractors’ capacities to complete projects on schedule had to be given more weight when considering tender prices stirred debate in the NA Standing Committee meeting yesterday.
Discussing draft amendments to the Bidding Law, Phung Quoc Hien, chairman of the NA Finance and State Budget Committee, said many projects failed to meet the deadline because contractors did not have the capacity. They won the bid on price alone.
The weight given to the lowest bid as a decisive factor and failing to take account of other factors was the main reason for faults and low quality in projects, he said.
Selection of contractors should be based not only on the “lowest bid” but also on contractor capacity, qualifications and experience, and sources of supply, he said.
Nguyen Sinh Hung, NA chairman, said the regulations on evaluating contractors should focus on contractor capacity because “quality of the project as the first and foremost priority will go with reasonable prices and assurance on deadline”.
Nguyen Van Giau, chairman of the NA Economics Committee, said the draft law regulated that the contractors winning the bid must meet at least 70 per cent of technical requirements.
In some specific cases, this figure could be raised to 90-95 per cent, he said.
However, Hung and Hien said specific and feasible regulations on contractor capacity assessment were needed.
The draft was still too general with just concepts, they said.
Phan Xuan Dung, chairman of the NA Science, Technology and Environment Committee said loopholes would still exist if there was no specific regulation.
For example, sources and quality of technologies applied to the projects should be listed because many technologies had the same technical indicators but different quality and prices, he said.
Regarding adjustment of prices during the contract implementation, Hung said: “I oppose the adjustment of prices during the project implementation. Prices which are fixed and finalised in the bid should remain from the beginning till the end.”
“All the risks, such as escalating prices of materials and labour costs, should be taken into account in the bid.”
Adjustment of prices has led to the current situation where prices of all projects are driven up to levels higher than the bids, he said.
Hien pointed out that many contractors intentionally delayed the construction process to have prices adjusted. Prices decided at the bid are not fixed.
Members suggested there should be a regulation that there will be no adjustment of prices during the project implementation process.
Nevertheless, Cao Viet Sinh, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, said the adjustment of prices was “unavoidable” because the country’s macro-economy was still unstable.
However, the drafting board would make more careful study on this suggestion, he said.
Hung also said: “Bribery is popular during the bidding process. So, it is important to include feasible measures to prevent this situation in the law.”
On another issue, members of the NA Standing Committee also suggested there should be a chapter regulating drug bids
Truong Thi Mai, chairwoman of the NA Committee for Social Affairs, said the current drug prices, which had been decided by bids, were much higher than the prices in the market.
Costs for drugs made up more than 60 per cent of the total treatment cost. Meanwhile, in other countries, this figure was only 20 per cent, she stressed.
Drug bids needed to be controlled under the law, instead of entrusting this task to the Government, she said.
Draft Law on Thrift Practice and Wastefulness Prevention
Later, members of the NA Standing Committee debated the Law on Thrift Practice and Wastefulness Prevention.
They all are concerned about how to make the law feasible.
Since its implementation in 2005, no wastefulness cases had ended in punishment or been brought to the court or compensation made, said Nguyen Van Pha, vice chairman of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee.
Hien said the draft amendments focused on regulating the activities as wastefulness and punishment measures.
Members suggested leaders of the agencies where wastefulness occur will take legal responsibility. — VNS