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Question 7 : Are those involved reputable ?

 

This is an interesting question. In any large project there is the owner, the implementing party which I assume would be a consulting firm, and the financing agency.

The ownership of large land based sizeable projects often involves the Government. Most Government - linked firms have the tendency to be managed by current or ex-politicians. It is wrong to assume that politicians are not business suave. In fact, some have spent time in the corporate world and boast of impressive track records. The issue here is whether one can be objective in view of political interests. When such a conflict occurs the project comes under questionable procedures and processes.

Reputation of a firm first comes from the Boardroom. Are there corporate governance in the conduct of the business affairs of the firm ? The composition of the Board often denotes the trusteeship of the agency involved. If it is stuffed by ex-politicians then it calls into question the independence of the Board in the discharge of its duties when it requires the sanction or approval of the current political leadership.

At the implementation level, the reputation of the implementation agency or a consulting firm is shown by the track record of previous projects undertaken. Were those projects completed in time and within budget ? If not, examine the reason as to its failure to do so. To ensure the selection process is above board, a pre-qualification and selection criteria that spells out the qualification and experience of the management and professionals of the consulting firm to be selected need to be  established. Then the track record of the firm in handling a similar sized job and how many projects it has in hand over the implementation period goes in some way in ensuring that the professional staff are not too thinly stretched out. A quick check with its peers in the industry will quickly identify those who have a dodgy track record.

 

 

Leow Kok Yuan

Mr Leow is our Managing Partner. He has worked as a consultant in multi-disciplinary development projects financed by the Malaysian Government and international development agencies such as the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.

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