Malaysiakini Letter

How to conduct aboveboard open tenders

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LETTER | The best way to prevent corruption is to follow the World Bank system.

As we all know, the BN government has been giving out large contracts and concessions without calling for competitive tenders. For example, the highways the cost of which is so much inflated that all road users have to pay high tolls.

It is also unreasonable that when the road needs widening to accommodate an increased traffic volume, either the road users have to pay a higher toll or the government has to lengthen the toll concession period.

No one knows when the concessionaires will stop their toll collections.

How to call for competitive tenders? All the bidders must be pre-qualified so that when they are awarded contracts they can complete the work efficiently without requiring more time and money.

All the bidders must know that they must offer their cheapest price and they will not be awarded the job if their price is not the cheapest.

All tender submissions must comply with the original design or requirements so that the authorities or employer can evaluate all the tenders on the same basis.

However, any bidder can submit an alternative offer which must be cheaper than his original bid.

Since evaluating any alternative design will involve additional costs and delays, the tenderer must agree to standby his tender price if he is required to upgrade his alternative design to comply with the original specifications.

Otherwise, there is no reason to consider his alternative bid.

Always award the contract to the cheapest bid. Never negotiate with any bidder because this will encourage corruption and bribery, especially if the contract is for a large amount, say RM25 billion.

What is the difference between RM25 or RM24 billion? Well, who would not be tempted to accept a one billion ringgit bribe?

During your negotiations with any bidder, you might be tempted to increase your offer in terms of price or land or loosen the terms of condition or specifications.

You must bear in mind that if the other bidders know that you have varied your offer, they would have offered you a much better bid price.

Moreover, your new offer can also attract many other bidders who were not interested before.

Another safeguard to prevent corruption is the number of bidders. A corrupt official can invite only a few contractors who are known to him to submit their bids.

The few contractors can easily collude among themselves to fix the bid price with some provisions for bribing the corrupt official.

I am not a politician but I know politics is very important because it affects all people.

When you pay road tolls, you must bear in mind that you are being cheated by the BN government because they gave out these concessions without calling for competitive tenders.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.