After problematic tender procedures, now investigation is underway over possible bid-rigging. Demolition of the Tokyo National Stadium is half-year behind schedule already. A Japan Times report.
A series of problems is delaying the demolition of National Stadium in central Tokyo to make way for a new main venue for the 2020 Olympic Games. The Japan Sports Council initially planned for the demolition to run over 15 months from last July. Now the project won’t be starting until early next month due to the problems over the tenders.
The first tender failed in May because all of the bids exceeded the maximum contract price. In July, a contractor in Saitama Prefecture emerged as the winner of a second tender.
But the result was challenged by another participant that had pitched the lowest bid. It filed a protest with a Cabinet Office panel that handles complaints about government procurement.
In a report released in September, the panel confirmed that before the tender closed, a sports council official checked a breakdown of the contract costs that the defeated participant had submitted with its bidding form.
The panel said that the act was problematic because it could undermine the secrecy and fairness of tenders. The council was asked to start the bidding process again.
The problems with the stadium’s demolition were discussed at the Diet, where a lawmaker voiced suspicions about bid-rigging.
The council’s own investigative team denied any illegal actions, but that assertion was criticized because the investigators failed to question the official.
The council finally picked two contractors for the demolition work in a third tender.
The education and sports ministry reported the case to the NPA on suspicion of bid-rigging. The agency’s investigation is underway.