Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Loxley group wins CAT bid


Loxley group wins CAT bid


LSI Consortium, comprising Loxley Plc and International Engineering Corp, yesterday won an electronic auction for CAT Telecom's integrated billing and customer service system project with a bid price of 891 million baht. The consortium's price was 36% lower than the official median price set earlier by CAT Telecom.

Air Marshal Priya Siriboon, the CAT board spokesman, said the bid was very satisfactory because it was the lowest ever. CAT earlier expected the project to cost around 1.2 billion baht.

The runner-up was ISA consortium, which offered 978.5 million, or 30.11% less than the median price. Third was STCC consortium at 1,244 million baht.

Three groups of companies entered yesterday's e-auction witnessed by representatives of the Office of the Auditor-General and the Comptroller-General's Department. The low bid did not represent price collusion because it was much lower than the median price, said Air Marshal Priya.

Although the LSI group won the auction, it still needs to negotiate the final price with CAT.

CAT Telecom first called the bids to replace its 10-year-old system in April 2005. Five groups entered but only three met the technical requirements. M-Link Asia Plc, a company associated with a sister of ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, was among the three that qualified to enter the e-auction.

However, the bid was later scrapped after complaints that specifications had been rigged. CAT Telecom invited vendors to attend a meeting on April 5, and more than 40 showed up to hear the terms of reference. All of them had to sign an acknowledgement of their attendance and the bidding conditions.

But some vendors questioned the technical requirements, which would enable only a handful to bid. Setting high technical specifications eliminated small vendors from contention, they said.

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