The Commission Against Corruption (CCAC) announced Thursday a case in which a division chief of the Transport Bureau (DSAT) and one his lower-ranking staff are suspected of having taken bribes totalling about 16 million patacas (US$2 million) for helping three management firms to be granted over 60 procurement contracts for the running of public car parks.
According to a CCAC statement, the government paid the three companies about 68 million patacas for the contracts, which means that the bribes account for nearly a quarter of the contract value.
The graft-buster also said in the statement that a businessman and three other suspects were involved in the case, adding that the two DSAT officials and the businessman have been remained in custody while the other three suspects have been released on their own recognizance and are barred from leaving Macau.
According to the statement, the two DSAT officials worked for the bureau’s traffic management division. Both are suspected of having received about 16 million patacas in bribes for conspiring to manipulate the granting of short-term management contracts for public car parks worth about 68 million patacas between 2012 and this year.
The CCAC said in the statement that the over 60 procurement contracts granted by the bureau to the three companies accounted for about 70 percent of the government’s car park management contracts during that period.
Apart from the around 16 million patacas in pecuniary bribes, the two civil servants allegedly also benefitted from other ill-gotten gains.
The CCAC officers found that some of the public car parks which were managed by the three companies often only had one security guard manning them. According to the respective contracts, the companies should have simultaneously deployed at least three guards and a cleaner to each car park, the statement said, adding that the two officials were suspected of having informed the companies before DSAT inspections were carried out so that the companies could make sure there was enough manpower in place when inspectors showed up. According to the statement, this enabled the companies to raise their profit margins by reducing the number of staff they had to employ.
The CCAC also said that its officers found about 230,000 patacas in bribes in the home of one the DSAT officials.
The graft-buster also said that as many public car parks are involved in the case the bureau should ensure that they are operating normally. The CCAC also urged the bureau to fill the loopholes in its supervision and management systems. (macaunews/macaupost)