PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 February, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 February, 2003, 12:00am

I find the current situation regarding the Tolo Highway roadworks to be appalling.

On the one hand we have the government wasting vast amounts of taxpayers' money on unnecessary noise barriers and on the other hand, we have a contractor that is incapable of completing the highway project even within a year of the prescribed period. All too often these days we hear stories of contractors that fail to pay their subcontractors or workers. Is it my imagination or do many of these cases relate to mainland companies?

Does the government properly vet these contractors before awarding them the job? Is there deliberate favouritism towards certain companies, or is it simply that the cheapest tender wins? Whatever the reason, the current system of awarding contracts by the administration needs to be reviewed to ensure that the work will be completed within the prescribed period and at the tendered price.

There is little point in awarding a contract to a cheaper bid if the only way the contractor can complete the job is by cutting payments to its workers or subcontractors.

What is the government doing today to prevent another Tolo Highway debacle happening tomorrow?