The “special” method used to hire a contractor for the nameplate and logo redesign of Bang Sue Grand Station was not appropriate, the probe into the issue has concluded.
Headed by Sorapong Paithoonpong, a deputy interior permanent secretary, the result of the probe into the 33-million-baht redesign project was revealed on Tuesday.
Unique Engineering and Construction Plc (Uniq) was hired for the redesign, following His Majesty the King’s decision to rename the station as “Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal” in September last year.
According to the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), it opted for a “special method” of bidding because the redesign work involved improving completed construction work that is still within its warranty period.
The special method, according to the SRT, was employed on account of the redesign requiring specific expertise.
On Tuesday, Mr Sorapong said that as far as the scope of the work was concerned, there was nothing amiss.
The SRT had complied with the proper regulations by subjecting the project to safety and engineering inspections and obtaining relevant certification. The bidding process was carried out properly.
However, the probe team felt the special method for hiring a contractor should have been dropped in favour of open bidding for the sake of transparency.
The probe also found that the budget earmarked for the project could have been cut by retaining certain characters from the old nameplate since they were in usable condition.
Even though the law allows for special methods, it applies to circumstances where a project requires particular materials that can only be supplied by a single company. “The project’s urgency … does not excuse the special method,” he added.
The findings of the probe are not binding, and it is up to SRT whether to continue or review the project.