Due diligence reason for delay in awarding tender for Bauerfield runway improvements

Port Vila's Bauerfield international airport

It would seem the World Bank feels insufficient due diligence has been activated for this very expensive project. And look where airfield improvements got the previous government (former ministers in prison) because of lack of due diligence over Rentabau. Tenderers for the Bauerfield airport works are being told there is a delay in announcing the successful bidder so that each has a chance to pose and answer any questions which are relevant. The selection panel is obliged to give another five days for bidders to answer questions. “We don’t want to leave ourselves open for others to sue us”, said Infrastructure and Public Utilities Minister Jotham Napat. This means that despite the tourism industry now saying there is a body of investors anxious to come and build hotels, it might be several months before equipment and personnel are in place for the Bauerfield works and the Tourism Season may be well underway already. But just as well for existing operators, the national reputation and the economy that this time we get it right.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and New Zealand are helping establish an independent Regulator for Vanuatu’s maritime sector. This follows 2016’s Maritime Sector Regulatory Act and will boost Vanuatu’s maritime safety and security. MIPU Minister Napat says the community and industry will benefit. A taskforce is being formed to carry out the transition to the new Regulator. Operations should begin later this year.

The Vanuatu Law Council has appointed a disciplinary committee. There has surely been room for this in the over-supplied legal profession for quite a long time. The judiciary, Attorney General, legal practitioners, financial organisations, USP and Women’s Centre are represented. The scope and powers of such a body are outlined in a Legal Profession Act, but note that PacLII states the Committee has “not yet commenced”. (Daily Post)

The Independent at the weekend reports the Port Vila morgue being an international disgrace. The medical profession reports the morgue is unable to keep bodies in preserved for  specialist forensic examination.

The Independent is under attack from the Chinese engineering company CCECC and the Secretary-General of the Tafea Province for a lengthy page one story concerning an alleged brothel on Tanna. The story, bylined by the editor, claims Chinese construction staff are clients of sex workers, is denied by CCECC, a company engaged in roadbuilding, and an apology is demanded.