Thu, 18 Aug 1994

Joop promises open tender for 2 million telephone lines

JAKARTA (JP): Minister of Tourism, Post and Telecommunications Joop Ave vows that the tender for the installation of two million telephone lines in the coming five years will be open and transparent.

"Investors should not be worried about the tender because we are committed to open and transparent tenders for telecommunications projects," he said early this week in response to criticism that the government was not transparent in its offering of telecommunications projects.

During the Sixth Five Year Development Plan (Repelita VI) period, the government has targeted the construction of five million new telephone lines with total investments of Rp 15 trillion. Of the targeted new lines, three million will be installed by the state-owned telecommunications company, PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom). The installation of the other two million lines will be offered to private investors.

A total of 150 consortia have applied for the construction of the two million lines but the government has yet to announce which of them qualifies for the project.

Secretary-General of the Ministry of Tourism, Post and Telecommunications, Jonathan Parapak, who is also chairman of the bidding committee, was quoted on Tuesday by Antara as saying that the committee has delayed its plan to announce which consortia will be qualified for the telecommunications projects because it has not finished evaluating all of the applicants.

"We actually planned to announce the results of the evaluation on Aug. 10," he said. "But now, we will likely not be able to announce them until after Aug. 18."

Besides officials of the Ministry of Tourism, Post and Telecommunications, the bidding committee also involves officials from the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas), the Office of the Coordinating Minister for Economy and Finance, and the Ministry of Finance.

Director General of Post and Telecommunications Djakaria Purawidjaja said last month that the government would probably choose only five of the 150 consortia to construct the telecommunication projects.

Muhammad Buang, a member of the House of Representatives, said he welcomed Minister Joop's commitment to holding open tenders for telecommunications projects during this Repelita VI period. "But it must be proven in its implementation," he said. (rid)