The Audit Commission (CA) has criticised the government’s Infrastructure Development Office (GDI) for its failure to come up with an overall budget for the Taipa Pac On Ferry Terminal project for which its 2005 budget was 580 million patacas that increased to 3.2 billion patacas after the original project was enlarged.
The hard-hitting report also points out that while the project’s completion date was initially early 2007 it is now expected to begin operations in the current quarter at the earliest.
GDI officials said last year that the project was slated to be completed in the first of half of this year.
The commission also blasted the office for its failure to assess the terminal’s real demand which the report said should be based on the estimated number of future passengers.
The commission made the criticisms in an audit report released Monday, which aimed at assessing whether the office has conducted the work related to the construction of the project properly and effectively.
The commission said in the report cited by The Macau Post Daily that the office took over responsibility for the project in 2005, of which the Lands, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT) was originally in charge, pointing out that the budget for the original project was about 580 million patacas.
According to the report, as the government changed its mind and deemed the future terminal should take on a much more important role than previously planned, the office extended the original plans in 2006.
Three major project changes in 2006, 2007 and 2008, based on the original proposal which was drafted in 2005, cost the government an extra 77 million patacas on top of about 15 million patacas the government paid for the 2005 design, according to the report, which also pointed out that after the successive changes the future terminal will cover about 320,000 square metres and have 16 berths for ferries with a capacity of up to 400 passengers each, three berths for ferries with a capacity of up to 1,200 passengers each and a heliport while the 2005 proposal included eight berths for ferries with a capacity of 400 passengers each, which had a total size of about 107,200 squares metres.
The commission said in the report that as the office had never submitted any overall budget, the government failed to assess how much it would need to pay for the whole project and neither did it make “the most appropriate ” decision on getting the best value for money.
The report also slammed the office for failing to communicate with other bureaus or any ferry operators about the design of the terminal, resulting in three major project changes.
The commission also said that the government spent about 170 million patacas on the construction of the temporary Taipa ferry terminal, which is currently in use, even though only its platform, which cost about 64 million patacas to construct, will be kept as a part of the future terminal.
Responding to the audit report’s shocking findings, the GDI said that it would correct the mistakes mentioned in the report and improve its work.(macaunews)