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LBU has ‘no say’ over Pan Borneo contractors

KUCHING: Pan Borneo Highway project delivery partner (PDP) Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd (LBU) has clarified that it has no voting rights in the tender committee to select contractors.

Its chief executive officer Safuani Abdul Hamid said in a press statement yesterday that such voting rights were held by representatives from the federal and state governments.

“It’s not true that LBU, as PDP, chooses the contractors for the Pan Borneo Highway. Contrary to public perception, PDP has no voting rights in the tender committee to choose contractors.

“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,” he said, adding that LBU provides an advisory role in the tender committee at the evaluation and recommendation phase.

He also pointed out that LBU plays a supporting technical and contractual role to review, analyse and compile findings to enable the government to make informed and timely decisions.

Meanwhile, Safuani also stressed on the importance of ensuring efficiency, accountability and transparency in procurement of contracts, adding that the governance structure of the PDP model promotes the above.

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

“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.”

Safuani explained that 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,” Safuani said.

He added that once the design was finalised, the project’s procurement exercise involved a two-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.

Source: Borneo Post