“Who is auditing Fiji Roads Authority”. Letter to the Editor 18 July 2014 (FT, FS, FIB)
“Who is auditing the FRA?”
Letter to Editor (The Fiji Times, Fiji Sun, Island Business) (18 July 2014)
I have asked several times through these columns exactly which government department is auditing the expenditures of the Fiji Roads Authority which has been allocated the massive sum of about $900 millions for 2013 and 2014.
The PS Finance has arrogantly refused to answer, increasingly typical behaviour these days of civil servants in positions of responsibility.
Ordinary readers might wonder why I am so adamant on this question.
I remind that even if 5% of the $900 million allocation to FRA is mis-spent because of inefficiency or unnecessary layers of subcontractors and their profits, that would be $45 millions wasted, a large sum in Fiji government’s annual budget.
Yet the public gets very worked up when there is wastage of a mere fifty thousand dollars by some Prime Minister or Minister, simply because the public can understand small sums, not large sums like $900 millions.
The FRA is now taking out pages and pages of advertisements explaining what they are doing with our roads and how many potholes they have filled, when previously our under-financed PWD used to just to get on with the job without blowing their trumpet.
The FRA informed in the latest advertisements that they report to the Prime Minister.
The public needs to ask, how can the Prime Minister and his Permanent Secretary monitor such a massive project, especially when they (with the assistance of Aiyaz Khaiyum) seem to be doing the job of all other Ministers and senior civil servants combined, if the media reports are to be believed.
Professor Wadan Narsey