FRA CEO sent on leave pending investigation

June 9, 2023 6:46 am

Fiji Roads Authority Chief Executive Kamal Prasad has been sent on leave pending audit and investigations.

The FRA Board made this decision following a meeting on Tuesday.

In a statement it says this decision has been taken in the best interest of FRA and the public at large to allow the Board to carry out an independent investigation.

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An investigation will be carried out in the cash flow issues and budget overspending.

The statement says FRA is currently facing a cash flow issue with its current Capital Expenditure (2022/23) of $350 million spent by December 2022.

In addition, and as at 30th April, 2023, the FRA still owes $38 million to 13 Contractors which is forecast to reach $55 million by June 30th.

The Board has noted that there is no Strategic Plan in place, as the continued deterioration of our road network daily indicates a lack of planning, compounded by mismanagement by the Minister of Economy in the FijiFirst Government.

The Board has taken swift action to address this serious matter and is in full consultation with the Ministry of Finance.

The Board has also consulted with FRA contractors.

Ro Filipe says he has also initiated discussions with development partners in terms of supporting the infrastructure needs, who have responded positively.

Ro Filipe further states a few major projects have been delayed resulting in contractors seeking variation payments to the contracted sum.

In this regard, he adds the Board will carry out an audit to justify substantial cost increases.

Ro Filipe further states a Whistle Blower report has been received by the Board alleging malpractices within the organization.

He has ordered a full investigation which will be carried out by the FRA Board.

Ro Filipe says regretfully, Public Works as a sector and Ministry has been seriously decimated in terms of intellectual capacity and assets by the FijiFirst Government for the last 16 years.

He adds the FijiFirst Government must explain where all Public Works Department assets went to.

Ro Filipe says there are other audit issues and reports, of which he will advise the people as they progress in their reform and re-set programme.