LookAtVietnam – The “contractor-investor’s war,” where involved parties play
dirty ruses leads to the lack of transparency in bidding and causes a big waste
of resources. The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) believes that once
e-bidding mechanism is applied, the problem would be settled.
The “bogus investor”
A new model of inviting for bid, called the “he-cries-wine-and-sells-vinegar
bidding,” has appeared, putting authentic tenderers at a disadvantage. A
businessman related that in many cases, the projects’ investors, when posting
the information on mass media to call for bid, provided the addresses which did
The investor of the project on building the technical infrastructure system for
the new urban area development in Hoai Duc district in Hanoi, for example,
showed the wrong address and contact numbers.
Tenderers were told to buy bidding documents at the head office of an
architecture design consultancy and investment company, headquartered in Chuc
Son town of Chuong My district in Hanoi. However, since the address and
telephone number did not exist, tenderers had to spend time to go to every
corner in Chuc Son town to look for the right addresses until the announced time
for selling bidding documents finished.
The bogus address was really a trap for tenderers.
In another case, a contractor in Hanoi finally successfully bought the bidding
documents for a project after he had to overcome a lot of difficulties put by
the investor. However, he did not grab the chance to join the bid, simply
because he was too late. He bought the bidding documents at the time when the
bid was nearly to close, and he did not have enough time to prepare for the bid.
According to the contractor, this was the project on building the 4th-class
rural road network in a commune in Dien Bien province.
Projects’ investors play a lot of trickeries to put big difficulties to block
authentic contractors’ way and give the opportunities to the contractors they
A lot of investors put sky-high and unattainable requirements on contractors in
order to keep contractors far away from the bidding.
The investor, who called for the bid on the procurement of 200 sickbeds for a
hospital, set unreasonable financial requirements on tenderers. The candidates
needed to have the average turnover in 2008, 2009 and 2010 at 50 billion dong
and higher. Meanwhile, the value of the bid package was just 900 million dong.
Projects’ investors also taste bitterness
In other cases, a lot of investors also “reaped bitter fruits” when “cunning”
tenderers played dirty with them. In general, the investors were young and
The investor of the project on expanding the clean water supply system in TN
commune is a typical example. The investor posted the invitation for bid on mass
media, clearly showing the deadline for the issuing of bidding documents.
However, the investor only received two tender documents when the deadline came.
Therefore, the investor decided to extend the deadline, while the notice about
the extension was also posted on mass media.
Only one more set of tender documents was sent. Of the three tenders, only X
Company could satisfy the requirements of the investors. One of the other two
did not have the required financial capability, while problems found in the
tending prices offered by the other tenderer.
The story here is that X company kept other contractors away, while hiring the
other two to act as the “chessmen” to sacrifice to help X obtain the bid