Parliament to investigate assignment of Gulhifalhu harbor project to Boskalis

An aerial shot of k. Gulhifalhu. (File Photo/The Business Report)

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee has started an investigation into why the planned international industrial harbor in Gulhifalhu was awarded to Boskalis Westminster Contracting Ltd.

The project awarded to Boskalis without a bidding process for USD 53 million to reclaim six million cubic meters of land was set to be completed within 180 days. The issue was raised in the Public Accounts Committee by Hanimaadhoo MP Hamid Abdul Ghafoor.

The Committee agreed to request information from all the relevant authorities involved in the case. The government started receiving criticism for awarding the project as soon as the agreement was announced but the Planning Ministry media unit informed “Sun” that the project was awarded to Boskalis after all the technical research was conducted and was done in a manner that was very beneficial to the state.

The Ministry stated that the reason why Boskalis was awarded the project was that it was a proven company that had carried out several projects in the country previously and the government had the guarantee that it will complete the project within the given time.

When asked why MTCC was not awarded the project the Ministry pointed out that MTCC was currently carrying out more than projects and several projects would be awarded to MTCC in the future.

The Ministry also stated that Boskalis has a capacity to reclaim 120,000 cubic meters of land per day, while Maldivian companies had the capacity to reclaim 15,000 cubic meters per day.

It was decided that the Ministry would proceed with a proven company that had the capacity to carry out the work in a speedy manner, according to the Ministry.

The regulation regarding public finance states that a project of the government can be awarded to an entity decided by the President with the advice of the cabinet or a cabinet committee without a bidding process if the project is run with the aid of a foreign nation or by a concessional loan.

The regulation also states that it should be ensured that the party the project is awarded is technically and financially capable of carrying out the project.