21 Feb 2006

Questions over Fiji boatbuilding contracts

9:40 am on 21 February 2006

Questions have been asked in the Fiji parliament about contracts given to two companies to build 110 fibre-glass fishing boats just ahead of this year's general election.

Radio Legend reports that the questions from senior Labour MP, Poseci Bune, were directed at the minister for forests and fisheries, Konisi Yabaki.

Mr Bune asked why the two companies, Ribtek and Safeway Marine, were contracted if the ministry knew that subcontractors would need to be hired to build the boats.

Mr Yabaki said that during the selection process the Major Tenders Board had stated that Ribtek was allowed to hire subcontractors and that normal processes were followed under the fisheries scheme.

But the minister could not explain why the two companies were selected to build the boats.

The 110 fishing boats will be distributed to rural communities and outer island villagers.