The original Dhivehi article was published on Raajje.mv website on 3rd September 2017.
The following is a loose translation:
- A company proposed 53 million dollars for the project
- The said company offered 1.2 million dollars for design work
- The President’s Office and Evaluation Committee sent letter to IGMH after the contract was signed
When Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital’s (IGMH, to be named as Dharumavantha Hospital upon completion) 140 million dollars (2.1 billion Rufiyaa) 25-storey project was awarded to Singapore’s Chang Hua Construction, a lot of people aimed their criticisms to the government. Even the experts in this field’s criticisms came when the project’s costing was valued double.
Experts in the field say that the new IGMH project can be undertaken at a much lower cost and that the government could have saved more than half of the expenditure on the building.
When this building project was awarded to Chang Hua Construction, at a cost twice high, the opposition alleged the project to be smeared with corruptions and criticised the government. They accused the government of taking a 10 million dollar kickback.
The government did not reveal on any assessment and evaluation to justify awarding the project to Chang Hua Construction and they did not release any details of other proposals submitted along with Chang Hua Construction’s proposal. They carried out all that in secrecy. However, based on information gathered now, there are many graft allegations on how the contract was awarded to Chang Hua Construction.
Whilst IGMH’s 25-storey project was awarded to Chang Hua Construction for 2.1 billion Rufiyaa, (140 million dollars) another company proposed to build it for 53 million dollars. While Chang Hua Construction’s estimate for building’s design work was 27 million dollars, the said company proposed the same for 1.2 million dollars. Now begs the question, when a company offers to complete the building for 53 million dollars, why give it to a company which values it way higher — 140 million dollars?
Leaving that aside, the handing over of the project to Chang Hua Construction was also carried out unusually. The project was assessed and evaluated by the Evaluation Committee for major projects and coordinated by the President’s Office, only after the contract was signed.
As per documents submitted to the Public Funds Committee of the Maldives Parliament, IGMH handed over the project to Chang Hua Construction and signed the contract on 31 January 2016. The letter from the President’s Office to IGMH, instructing to hand over the project to Chang Hua Construction was sent two days later.
Few days after President’s Office sent the letter, on 11th February a meeting was held by the project Evaluation Committee and on 14th February, IGMH was informed of the committee’s decision to award the project to Chang Hua Construction. By the time the committee came to this decision and when President’s Office sent the letter informing to hand over the project to Chang Hua Construction, IGMH had already assigned the project over to Chang Hua Construction.
This prompted many questions — why did they rush to hand over the project to Chang Hua Construction without completing the necessary paperwork? There is no need to rush if not for corruption.
If we dig deep into this, we would definitely discover more — the suspicious way the project was awarded. if we also look further into this, we would find out the recipient of the kickback and the parties who benefitted from this dubious deal. Unfortunately, in the Maldives, there is no independent body to look into these matters. There is no one to investigate these, to hold accountable and responsible for the harm it does to the public funds and the Maldivian citizens.
What’s certain is that there would come a day when proper investigations will be carried out, and reveal the dirty deeds of those senior officials. It is also very likely that this will happen in a near future.
IGMH’s 25-storey construction is a project that should take place, Malé-Hulhulé bridge also must happen and other projects must happen. However, they should learn to do it without pocketing millions and millions of money, and free from allegations of corruption.