The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) is waiting for more information from the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) about the latter’s 33-million-baht contract for a nameplate and logo redesign of Bang Sue Grand Station.
Niwatchai Kasemmongkol, the NACC secretary-general, said the agency has begun an inquiry into the project criticised for being costly and possibly using questionable selection methods for hiring a contractor.
He said the anti-graft agency initially found the procurement is not yet complete and has asked the SRT clarify a number of facts about the project.
Early reports said Unique Engineering and Construction Plc (Uniq) was hired for the redesign, which follows His Majesty the King renaming the station as “Krung Thep Abhiwat Central Terminal” in September.
The SRT came out to defend the project twice last week and provided details of the costs which covered structural work and the procurement of 110 English and Thai characters and two SRT logos for installation among the expenses.
According to the rail agency, it opted for an unusual method of bidding because the redesign work involved improving completed construction work that is still within its warranty period.
Mr Niwatchai said if the procurement is not completed, no further inquiry is required and the NACC will provide recommendations to the SRT. However, if irregularities are detected, an inquiry will be conducted, he added.
Meanwhile, former Democrat MP Charnchai Issarasenarak, who used to serve in the House committee on corruption suppression, said SRT procurement policy had long been on the committee’s radar and includes the recent construction of the Red Line system.
Mr Charnchai also alleged the costs of other projects could have been inflated and criticised the 2014 military government led by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha for failing to use Section 44 of the interim charter to intervene.