Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang decided to set up an inspection team to look into expressway projects contracted to the Republic of Korea’s POSCO Engineering and Construction (E&C) on April 9.

The inspection team includes six members from the Ministry of Transport, its Finance Departments, Department of Science and Technology, and Department of Transport Construction and Quality Management, headed by the Ministry’s Deputy Chief Inspector Le Van Doan.

The inspectors will look into the process of selecting contractors, assessing and making payments, looking for any possible wrongdoings and violation of law.

Based on the results, the inspectors will make proposals to improve State management capacity and ensure the transparency of transport construction projects.

The same day, Kwon Sang Kee, an executive in charge of the Southeast Asian branch of POSCO E&C, sent a document to the Vietnam Ministry of Transport and the Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC) in which he apologised for the nuisance that the company caused to the ministry and VEC.

He cited the slush fund scandal of 10 billion won (8.9 million USD) by a former POSCO E&C executive in 2009-2012, saying further investigation is underway.

Earlier, Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Hong Truong said the ministry did not receive any official information relating to news reports that POSCO E&C was implicated in the creation of a slush fund in a construction project in Vietnam .

He said POSCO E&C was in charge of three construction packages for the Noi Bai-Lao Cai Expressway, funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

He said that all bids for the 1.2 billion USD expressway's eight construction packages, which were implemented between 2009 and 2014, followed international regulations, were supervised by international donors, and all processes were implemented and inspected carefully.

The Ministry of Transport has not interfered into payment methods between the contractor and its sub-contractors given these are their rights, he added.-VNA