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Friday, July 27, 2007

Board refuses to shorten contract

The board of Airports of Thailand has rejected its management's proposal to shorten the Suvarnabhumi airport security service contract with the Loxley-ICTS consortium, to avoid legal troubles. AOT board chairman Gen Saprang Kalayanamitr said after a board meeting yesterday that the board could not approve the management's proposal to halve the consortium's service contract to five years in response to its substandard security service, as the consortium has made it clear it disagreed with the plan.

The board did not want a legal dispute as the consortium had acquired the contract legally, he said.

Gen Saprang denied the board was protecting the contractor. He said the board was aware of the investment burden taken on by the consortium and would see to justice for both sides.

But he insisted the security service provided by the consortium was still poor and needed to be improved.

Chirmsak Pinthong, spokesman for the AOT board, said the consortium fielded 1,200 guards a day, which was short of the 2,000 stated in the contract.

Their service consisted of two shifts, each consisting of 600 guards who must work as long as 12 hours a day.

The board suspects that this arrangement, instead of three eight-hour shifts, may affect service quality.

The board believed that if the consortium was not able to improve its service in line with the contracted standards, the AOT management should terminate the contract instead of shortening it, Mr Chirmsak said.

However, a source said the board feared such a move could land it in legal trouble with the consortium.

Also, Mr Chirmsak said the board had yesterday resolved to grant 200 million baht to the army, which had sought financial support for its procurement of anti-explosives equipment for use in the deep South. AOT will also lend some of its explosives detectors at Suvarnabhumi and other airports to the army for use in the troubled region


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