Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes said in the legislature’s hemicycle Tuesday that the revised 830 million pataca budget – an increase of 176 percent from the initial budget – to revamp the Grand Prix Museum in Zape is due to the “most ideal” design of the project.
Senna Fernandes made the remarks when answering a question from directly-elected lawmaker-cum-unionist Ella Lei Cheng I, on the last day of a two-day Q&A session about the Social Affairs and Culture portfolio’s policy guidelines for next year.
The government said in 2016 that it was planning to turn the entire Tourism Activities Centre (CAT) in Zape into a completely revamped Grand Prix Museum, at a preliminary budget of around 300 million patacas.
Senna Fernandes told reporters in July this year that after a bidding process, her office had finished assessing the submitted bids and had granted a construction company the project with a proposed construction cost of 380 million patacas.
In a written interpellation that Lei sent to the media last Saturday, Lei notes that the government’s public investment plan (PIDDA) for next year shows that the revised budget to revamp the Grand Prix Museum has risen to 830 million patacas from the initial budget of just 300 million patacas.
In her interpellation, Lei points out that the revised budget is due to an enormous increase in the budget for the purchase of equipment – from the initial estimate of 15 million patacas to the revised one of 430 million patacas. She criticised the government for failing to release any information to the public to explain its reasons for the
Lei raised the budget hike on the first day of the two-day Q&A session on Monday, but Senna Fernandes only answered the legislator’s question yesterday.
Senna Fernandes said Tuesday that the 380 million patacas merely covers the construction costs – including the demolition work. She said that the facilities inside the museum were still in the design phase, adding that the 430 million patacas covered the “most ideal” design for that part of the project. According to Senna Fernandes, 260 million patacas will be spent on IT and interactive systems, such as the production of software applications, multimedia production, a data centre, and servers. 170 million patacas will be spent on video and audio equipment, such as LCD screens, car-racing simulators, projectors, and video-playing facilities.
According to The Macau Post Daily the city’s tourism chief also said that the 430 million pataca estimate is based on market prices and the highest one that the government can expect. She said that the design for the interior facilities has still not been finalised, adding that if the government finally decided to adopt a design plan that would not contain as many facilities as currently planned, the budget for the purchase of the equipment would be lower.