Japan delays demolition of stadium for Olympics over new bid round
TOKYO (Reuters) - The demolition of Japan's National Stadium to clear the way for a new structure to host the 2020 Summer Olympics has been further delayed in order to hold another round of bidding for the project, officials said on Monday.
The move was suggested by a government panel following a complaint of irregularities in an earlier bid round this summer, and looks set to delay demolition of the stadium until at least the middle of December, five months later than planned, in a symbol of the woes Tokyo faces as it readies for the games.
"There was a complaint about the process and it was recommended to us that we hold another round of bidding," said an official at the Japan Sport Council (JSC), which owns and runs the stadium originally built when Tokyo hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics, the first Asian nation to do so.
"We accepted that suggestion," he said, adding that the job would be awarded in November and work should begin before the end of the year.
The first round of bids to demolish the stadium failed because all the bids were too high, the JSC said, and a second round was held at the start of the summer.
A Tokyo construction company subsequently filed a complaint with the Government Procurement Review Board, a branch of the Cabinet Office, about the results.
The daily Tokyo Shimbun quoted workers at that construction firm and several others in Tokyo as saying the bids were opened before setting the final price and the job was then awarded to a company other than the lowest bidder.
"We had an internal probe of the matter and verified that this did not happen," the JSC official said.
The Government Procurement Review Board said there was no proof of misdoing, but there appeared to be some problems with fairness and called for another round of bidding. Continued...