I WAS very disappointed to read Inside Politics (Sunday Morning Post, September 18) casting aspersions about British companies winning Airport Core Programme contracts.
Hong Kong depends upon its level playing field for the award of contracts to ensure value for money throughout its procurement process. On the ACP, this has produced participation from all over the world. Of $51 billion construction contracts awarded so far, Japanese companies lead with 27 per cent, followed by Hong Kong with 20 per cent, the UK with 14 per cent, and the Netherlands, China, France and Belgium, each with between five per cent and 10 per cent.
It is a travesty of the truth to say that 'virtually every contract, during early stages of the airport project, seemed to go to a British consortium'. What happened during the design stages of the ACP was that Hong Kong consultants dominated the lists, including a substantial number still with their original British names, although they have been part of the local scene for up to 30 years. The current position is that Hong Kong firms have won about half the 200 ACP works consultancies.
Secondly, there was no 'rubbishing' of Hyundai on the Tsing Ma Bridge. Hyundai's bid was not accepted because it did not come up to the strict criteria applied to all tenderers, including the Government's standard requirements for working and employed capital. The Anglo-Japanese consortium was the clear winner, and the good progress achieved thus far underlines the correctness of the tender evaluations. JAMES BLAKE Secretary for Works