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Dispelling misconception on procuring Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak Works Package Contractors

Monday, 8 April 2019, Kuching -- “It’s not true that LBU as PDP chooses Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak’s contractors. Contrary to public perception, PDP has no voting rights in the Tender Committee to choose contractors. Such voting rights are held by representatives from the Government of Malaysia and Sarawak.”

“In fact, all major procurement decisions are made and finalised by the Government. Only upon such approval does LBU award the Works Package Contracts per the PDP Agreement”, said Lebuhraya Borneo Utara (“LBU”) CEO, Ir. Safuani Abdul Hamid.

“As PDP, LBU provides an advisory role in the Tender Committee at the evaluation and recommendation phase. LBU plays a supporting technical and contractual role to review, analyse and compile findings to enable the Government to make informed and timely decisions”, added Ir. Safuani.

Ensuring efficiency, accountability and transparency in procurement of contracts is important. The governance structure of the PDP model promotes the above. As key stakeholders in all contract administration matters, PBHS’ agencies, specifically KKR, MIDT, JKRS, PDP CMT and ICE, address policy and tender bottlenecks through dedicated committees, namely the Project Delivery Representative Coordination, Cost Control / Change Committee, State EXCO and Federal Steering Committee.

“LBU is thankful for the checks and balances, governance, professionalism and support provided by Government agencies towards delivery of Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak. This positive environment is the catalyst to drive the pace of implementation and sets an environment to overcome project challenges”, said Ir. Safuani.

Another feature that promotes efficiency and accountability is the project design finalisation which is put through an elaborate process of value management (“VM”) involving Government specialists, advisers and facilitators.

Preliminary engineering designs undergo value assessment (“VA”) and value engineering (“VE”) at workshops where conceptual and technical ideas are discussed, deliberated, and challenged at length. Leveraging on technology, specifically LBU’s Highway Information Modelling (HIM) and geographical information systems (GIS), LBU is able to ‘bring the outside in’ for dynamic, intense and challenging VM sessions.

Professional design consultants finalise detailed engineering drawings based on agreed scope and criteria set during the VM processes. In addition, PDP conducts its own front-end and back-end engineering internal design and constructability checks where the aim is to optimise design options. Subsequently, tender drawings are prepared based on the final VM decisions.

Design optimisation does not stop there. Even when the project teams enter site and more accurate data on local conditions are obtained, if required, subsequent variation assessment and variation order processes kick-in to optimise design and ultimately ensure the best value for money for the Government’s resources.

With design finalised, PBHS’ procurement exercise involves a 2-step process - pre-qualification to identify suitable contractors based on a preset and agreed technical and commercial criteria, after which successful bidders were invited to tender for packages.