Construction chamber opposes direct deals

The national construction chamber is calling on the pubic works ministry and the budget ministry to annul proposals for direct contracts instead of the usual bidding process.

The  Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes seeks to build a $20 million office tower, and the  Ministerio de Hacienda has a $2.2 million project in the works to construct buildings at the Peñas Blancas border crossing.

The  Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes argued Thursday that it needs a speedy direct contract because it is working under a demand by the Sala IV constitutional court to vacate its current facility.

The chamber, the Cámara Costarricense de la Construcción, said that the original proposal was skewed because the contracts call for firms skilled in prefabricated concrete.

Guillermo Carazo, president of the chamber, said that the proposals violate the fundamental principles of administrative contracting. The chamber said that only three firms are eligible to bid on the office tower and two of them are related.

The  Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transportes said that the plan had approval from the budget watchdog, the Contraloría General de la República.

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