The Audit Commission (CA) said in a report on Monday that the Lands, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT) had failed to liaise with other bureaus while overseeing the Taipa Central Park construction project, resulting in repeated delays, frequent design changes and additional construction so that the project’s total cost increased by 11.1 percent, or 48.8 million patacas.
The commission slammed the bureau for its poor project management.
According to an order published in the Official Gazette (BO) in 2012 and signed by Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On, the government was originally to pay Chon Tit (Macau) Investment and Development Co. Ltd. 441.2 million patacas for the construction of the park and car park.
According to the audit report, in 2006 the government started designing the park, while construction began in August 2009. The report points out that apart from the construction of the park the project also included a two-storey underground car park, a swimming pool, a library and an air quality monitoring device. Thus the DSSOPT needed to discuss the designs of the facilities with various other government bureaus.
The report says that the additional construction costs were due to the frequent changes in the design and additional construction.
For instance, the report mentions that the government needed to pay about one million patacas for additional construction required for the swimming pool. The report underlines that the DSSOPT failed to follow the original design of the swimming pool and had the original design amended without informing the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM). As a result, two sections of the swimming pool – the main pool and the children’s pool – were separate rather than linked. However, after the IACM found out that the design change led to a hygiene issue as the water couldn’t flow properly it asked the DSSOPT to rectify the situation which cost the government an extra one million.
The commission also found that the DSSOPT did not follow the suggestions given by various bureaus, such as failing to ask the contractor to use tactile paving for the visually impaired and an electronic display to provide information about the weather and available car park spaces.
The report also underlines that the original schedule for finishing the project was 876 days, or on December 30, 2011. However, the construction was only completed on December 15, 2012 – 351 days later than originally planned.
According to an order published in the Official Gazette in 2009, the government paid Civil Engineering Consultants Co. Ltd. 6.9 million patacas to manage, co-ordinate and supervise the project. Because of the delays, the government had to pay an additional 2.9 million patacas to the consultancy, according to the report. The report also says that the consultancy failed to submit 33 construction progress reports to the DSSOPT as required by its contract.
The commission also slammed the DSSOPT for its failure to follow regulations while assisting the Finance Services Bureau (DSF) in completing a provisional procedure to accept the transfer of the completed project – including the car park and swimming pool – from the contractor to the government.
Responding to the report, the DSSOPT said in a statement that it agreed with the opinions stated in the audit report, pledging that it will improve its performance. (macaunews/macaupost)