At the beginning of the monitoring session on BOT projects on the morning of August 15 of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Nguyen Van Giau gave an example related to the quality of contractors.
Mr. Giau said that in the 13th National Assembly, a delegate told him that he had almost “applied” Ministry of Transport a BOT transport project, but in the end he was not accepted.
Mr. Giau exclaimed that “it is fortunate that he was not accepted” because he hadn’t any profession related to the technique of road construction.
“At that time, I also advised him that he should not do what he doesn’t know,” shared Mr. Giau.
The above example has touched upon a major issue in the BOT picture on traffic, the selection of investor.
Monitoring result shows that most of the traffic projects invested in the form of BOT contracts in the past time have been appointed contractors. In particular, there has 47 projects appointed contractors by Prime Minister, one bidding project, one bidding project then moving to the designation form, 21 bidding projects with only one registered investor.
Head of monitoring delegation Vu Hong Thanh analyzed that many projects were appointed contractor due to the urgency of the construction investment or only one investor registered. However, some projects after being approved policy of contractor appointment took a long time to select the investor, so that could not meet the urgent requirements of the project.
According to the delegation, the application of contractor appointment has limited competitiveness, reduced the investment efficiency of the project. A number of projects organize the selection of investors when not satisfy conditions as stipulated (not announce list of projects), some projects did not post the selection results according to the regulations has reduced competitiveness, lack of transparency.
The example of Mr. Giau is also related to an issue set out by Mrs. Le Thi Nga Chairman of the Judicial Committee. It is the legal corridor for BOT projects is not enough but a lot of projects are implemented massively.
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And because management agency finds it hard to control both the cost and quality, the investor not specialized in this sector also “take part” into BOT project is easy to understand.
And the consequences of the legal loopholes and loose management are expressed quite vivid in the second example, mentioned by Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung at the end of the morning session.
Emphasizing that the charging of unreasonable charges in some localities received a lot of complaints from the people, he personally went to Phu Tho to handle the issue of a 20-year-old bridge be locked to collect fees at the newly-built bridge with the reason that old bridge does not guarantee safety.
The deputy prime minister raised the question that the 20-year-old bridge can’t be used, so what are the responsibilities of design, construction unit? Why the train can pass but the car can not?
“After that business trip the old bridge was opened for cars under 7 seats, people are very excited,” said Deputy Prime Minister.
This second example is not only related to charging fee alone, but also shows the absence of a master plan, a general design engineer for the entire BOT system for the people to choose – commented Mrs. Le Thi Nga, Chairman of the Judicial Committee.
Or as commented by Mrs. Tong Thi Phong Vice Chairman of the National Assembly “our management is problematic, people complain a lot.”
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According to Mrs. Le Thi Nga, BOT investment form has been implemented since 1997, but this is the first time that it has been monitored at the level of an elected body. The supervision also takes place in the context of some toll booths are facing strong reactions from the people.
Through monitoring, Mrs. Le Thi Nga also proposed that we should made overall assessment of who benefits most and who is the victim. And these two above examples have almost disclosed part of the answer.
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