In Costa Rica an order has been given to suspend construction of a supervision contract awarded to the state run power company for a road building project, because it is considered outside of its normal tasks.
The confluence of interests within the Costa Rican state bureaucratic corporation has allowed for institutional nepotism, by means of direct contracts between state agencies, to be thought of as beneficial to the interests of society. It is in this way that impediments are created to private companies being awarded public works contracts.
The Bank of Costa Rica has been selected to hold the trust which will be used to manage the project to expand the highway between the capital and the city of San Ramon, which will cost approximately $500 million.
In keeping with tradition in Costa Rica, only three companies have been awarded contracts for routine road maintenance for 19 out of the 22 conservation areas, with contracts totalling $24 million.
The three companies that were awarded the contracts are Anamarcala, with 13 contracts, Fresa Fresca, with two contracts in Guanacaste and Also Frutales, with four contracts. Crhoy.com reports that "... The latter two both share the same owners. Alejandro Acosta and Sonia Solis, who are listed as president or secretary in both companies "
The country that once had the best institutions in Central America is now hiring an agency of the UN created to solve problems in countries lacking those institutions.
With full confidence, senior officials responsible for public infrastructure projects have justified the award of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), indicating that through this measure they will be able to sidestep the control exercised by the Comptroller General of the Republic over the award and performance of government contracts.
Three months after a law was signed that supports the use of a trust to expand the San José-San Ramón highway, a bank has not yet been selected to administer the funds.
Although four banks have already expressed interest in participating in the contest, the authorities at the National Highway Council (CONAVI) not only have not selected any one of them, they are only just preparing ".... a document to request special permission from the Comptroller General of the Republic to create a special procedure for selecting the trustee bank. "
The banks involved have a week to present their proposals, later the National Highway Council (CONAVI) will evaluate the experience of the entities in the administration of trusts and a assessment will be made of the commission for recovery.
In Costa Rica protests are being made against a decision by the Ministry of Public Works to segment road maintenance works into only three contracts, limiting the participation of more companies.
After a meeting with representatives of the sectors who are concerned about the measure, the National Highway Council (CONAVI) announced that it will review the specifications of the tender with the aim of expanding the division of work. However, they clarified that "... They can not be exceeded due to the economic limitations of the entity to make the contracts. "
The private sector claims that $1900 million were approved by previous governments for public infrastructure projects which have not yet been executed by the Solís administration.
The Costa Rican Chamber of Construction (CCC) argues that there are projects pending implementation by the National Roads Authrity and Water and Sewage Department which were already approved under the previous administration that have not been carried out.
In the tender for road safety equipment to cover for 15 kilometers of road three companies submitted offers between $2.8 and $3.2 million.
The proposals in the tender for protective barriers on a 15 kilometer stretch of road on the Florencio del Castillo Highway were submitted by: Codocsa, with an offer of $3.6 million, Hernan Solis, with $1.05 million and Horizontes de Vías y Señales, with a proposal of $2.3 million.
In Costa Rica changes have been made to the specifications of tenders for road maintenance works, which now include an option for small businesses to bid for works that do not require specialized equipment.
Until October 31st draft documents will be available for public consultation so that interested companies can send comments and suggestions to the Road Safety Council.
In Costa Rica changes have been announced in the institution in charge of maintenance of road infrastructure in the country and greater openness in the process of awarding contracts in order to include more companies.
The current Consejo Nacional de Vialidad, Conavi, (National Roads Authority) will become Instituto Nacional de Infraestructura (National Infrastructure Institute), as announced by the new head of the institution, Maurice Salom. One of the announced changes is greater openness in the management of the procurement of road maintenancecontracts, one of the most criticized issues so far because of the excessive amount of contracts that have been awarded to a single company.
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Armstrong Equipment, Inc. is an American based company that specializes in the distribution to Latin America of equipment and parts used in the mining sector, rock crushing and asphalt paving.
Operates in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama
Phone: (305) 592 8361
DICCOC is a consulting and accredited inspection (ECA OI-016) company, with vast experience in the field. Since 2008 has inspection contracts with the state costarricense.
Operates in Costa Rica
Phone: (506) 2244 7570 - (506) 8857 9320
Civil Engineer construction, general contractor, gas pipeline and oil pipeline construction, petrochemical installation, fiber optic installation, highway and road construction.
Operates in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama
Phone: (502) 4089 7819