The new Islamabad Airport has been under construction since quite some time now. Unfortunately the airport’s construction has been delayed, again.
The auditor general’s report for 2016-2017 has discovered massive irregularities in the construction of the airport. Some of these irregularities include awarding work to contractors that are ineligible. This is not only a violation of rules it is also causing huge losses, in the league of billions of rupees, to the national exchequer.
The details of the original and final estimates of engineers were also not produced in support of the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) reply. Work on Airport Information Management System (AIMS), set to start in December 2015, was awarded at 281.39% higher cost than the approved rates.
Tenders for various equipment of the airport were also either delayed or awarded without following proper rules.
For example, the tenders for the “aircraft stand equipment” were delayed for so long that the final payment was much higher than what was anticipated (due to limited competition and fluctuations in foreign currency rate). This tender alone ended up costing Rs. 5.99 billion which is 25.3% higher than what was set as the initial estimate (Rs. 4.7 billion).
Audit maintains that unjustified delay in tendering process caused award of work at higher rates without revision of the initial Project Cycle (PC) I which was due to weak internal controls.
Similarly, for some projects, their tenders were advertised but their contractors were not even registered with the Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC).
In another project for fixing furniture, counters, signage and seating for passenger terminal building at the new airport, the auditor objects that the technical evaluation was not carried out in accordance with criteria set in bidding documents, resulting in “irregular award of contract of Rs 1.5 billion”.