Ministries can bid to handle mega-projects

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PETALING JAYA: Government ministries are to be allowed to bid for the right to carry out projects requiring large outlays of public funds, according to minister in the prime minister’s department, Abdul Rahman Dahlan.

However, they must first convince the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) of the projects’ direct benefits to taxpayers.

He said all ministries would have a fair chance of being put in charge of such projects if they had the best strategies for carrying them out, he said.

Previously, “senior ministries” were more likely to lead such projects, being “more experienced”.

“But, when we talk about a RM50 million project, for example, we want its economic returns to be more than its cost,” he told the New Sunday Times newspaper.

Abdul Rahman, who oversees the EPU, said project proposals will undergo a stringent screening and evaluation process. The winning bidder would be the one which best satisfies four criteria which he named as eliminate, reduce, raise and create.

The process would allow a better understanding of which projects would have maximum impact.

“The government can also avoid being on the losing side on endeavours capitalising on hefty funds,” he said. “The wellbeing of the people is the most important factor in the decision that the EPU makes.”