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Friday, September 21, 2007

Lilo criticised for awarding contract to an individual without proper tender process

The Solomon Islands Finance Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo is being asked what powers he has to award an infrastructure contract, bypassing the Infrastructure Ministry and the Central Tender Board.

MP for West New Georgia/VonaVona Peter Boyers claims Mr Lilo had informally awarded the contract to an individual who has started work in reconstructing roads in Gizo.

He says the road reconstruction in Gizo were to be carried out in three different phases and that all three phases were to be put on tender.

Mr Boyers says the informal system he knows of in the country, besides the formal system is corruption.

He calls on Mr Lilo to explain what laws, financial instructions and general orders he'd adhered to when he awarded an infrastructure contract to an individual.

Mr Boyers also calls on the Infrastructure Minister to explain why his ministry is no longer in charge of the process which is now in the hands of the Finance Minister.

Meanwhile, the finance minister says the award of a contract to do clearance in Gizo was based on the urgency to carry out the work without further delays.

Mr Lilo says the Minister for Finance has the powers under the Financial Instructions to waive the tender process in awarding contracts.

He says the award was based on health risks faced by the population and infrastructures and the urgent need to rehabilitate the tourism hub of the country.

Mr Lilo says Gizo town needs proper and urgent cleaning up because of the devastation caused by the tsunami resulting in the increase of rat and dog population and the bad air from blocked drainage and sewage systems.

He says the situation in Gizo is desparate that to wait for another month or two, will worsen the situation which may result in Gizo being declared an unsafe town to live in.

Mr Lilo says the waiver only applies for the civic clearance phase. Other phases will be put out on tender.

Source: SIBC

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