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“PWD and Road Transport Authority performances: who audits the RTA?” (Sent 5 August 2013. Not published)

12/08/2013

Letter to Editor (Fiji Times, Fiji Sun, Island Business, Republika)

(sent 5 August 2013, not published)

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

The public is please to see an enormous amount of long-overdue road building and maintenance activity being carried out by the newly formed Road Transport Authority.

Of course, this is being facilitated by extremely large allocations of funding through the annual budget.

Inevitably, comparisons are being made with the Public Works Department (PWD) whose past performance appears to be extremely poor.

I would point out, however, that the salaries of the skilled professional PWD road engineers and other staff were strictly limited by the Fiji Civil Service salary scales, and were quite low.

I am told that the RTA senior staff (both foreign and local) are on extremely generous salaries, paid apparently at hourly consultancy rates, and that even the ordinary RTA staff are on much higher salary scales than comparable salaries in the civil service.

There may also be extremely large profits being generated and repatriated to the company shareholders abroad.

What the public taxpayers would like to know firstly, is the cost per kilometre of the RTA road works, compared to that by the PWD.

Secondly, could the Permanent Secretary of Finance (Mr Waqabaca) inform the public whether the Auditor General’s Office (or any other arm of government) is auditing the use of taxpayers funds by newly formed public enterprises such as the RTA (or Water Authority of Fiji).

 

Professor Wadan Narsey

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