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TUESDAY, October 04, 2022
Court rejects BTSC’s plea for compensation in Orange Line bidding

Court rejects BTSC’s plea for compensation in Orange Line bidding

WEDNESDAY, February 09, 2022

The Central Administrative Court on Wednesday rejected the Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTSC) Plc’s request for compensation related to bidding for the Orange Line railway project.

The BTSC had sued the committee in charge of selecting the winner for the project to build an elevated electric train system linking Bang Khunnon and Min Buri and demanded a compensation of Bt500,000.

The BTSC alleged that the selection committee had unlawfully changed the terms of reference (ToR) and caused the BTSC Bt500,000 damage related to the bidding process.

The court ruled that the change of the ToR for the bidding was unlawful but the court also ruled that the BTSC had failed to prove to the court how the change in the ToR had inflicted a Bt500,000 loss on the company as claimed in the lawsuit.

The court reasoned that the BTSC already had to spend the amount for hiring technical and legal advisers for participating in the bidding so the change of the ToR did not add to the BTSC’s expense.

The court reasoned that the selection committee was required by the Act of state and private joint venture of BE 2562 (2019) to protect the national interest by selecting the bidder that made the best offer to the government.

However, the committee changed the ToR to allow it to select a bidder even though the bidder had not offered the lowest price, by considering technologies and investment feasibility as well.

The court noted that the change of the ToR was required to be put to a hearing of companies concerned first instead of being unilaterally changed by the panel.

Surapong Laoha-Unya, chief operating officer of BTSC, told reporters after hearing the verdict that the court had ruled the change of the ToR was unlawful as it could increase the cost for the government.

He said the company would consult its lawyers on whether to appeal against the ruling. The company has 30 days to submit an appeal, he added.