Corruption suspected in delayed Saudi rail project
Accidents said to have resulted from contractor's failure to deliver
Saudi Arabia’s National Anti-Corruption Commissoin (Nazaha) is to investigate a $114.4m (SAR 429m) deal between the Saudi Railways Organization (SRO) and a contractor which has resulted in the delayed installation of communications and signals systems, Saudi Gazette reports.
The commission said the delay has had negative implications on train safety and has resulted in accidents, leading it to refer the case to the Control and Investigation Board and asking for the officials responsible for these violations to be investigated.
A team of specialists will now look into the project which was set to commence following the contract signing eight years ago and was supposed to be complete within two years.
The commission pointed out that the contract has yet to be completed, leading it to conclude that there is a case of administrative and financial corruption, as well as a waste of public money, to answer.
SRO also signed a contract worth more than $15.7m (SAR 59m) with the same contractor to upgrade the communications and signals system, despite the fact that the first contract had not been completed yet.
Another contract worth more than $6.7m (SAR 25m) was signed with a foreign company to supervise the initial delayed project.