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PACIFIC WATCH

Japan

September 13, 1993|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Bidding on Public Works to Broaden: After sharp criticism over a series of bid-rigging and bribery scandals, Japan has decided that it will widen eligibility for construction companies to bid on public works projects. However, the move falls short of U.S. demands that Japan abolish the system of designating in advance who can bid on construction projects, which has been blamed for encouraging collusive practices such as fixing bids. Originally, only 10 contractors were allowed to bid on public works projects ordered by the central government. The designated companies often got together before placing bids to agree on who would get the contract. Under the new system, any company that meets qualifications set by the government can enter bids for projects, but the new rules will still limit the field to about 30 of the 520,000 construction companies in the country.

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