14 Apr 2016

Questions over Cyclone Winston rehab contracts

7:12 am on 14 April 2016

The opposition in Fiji is concerned about a lack of transparency as well as possible conflict of interest issues, in the process of awarding supply contracts to hardware retailers for materials for Cyclone Winston rehabilitation.

The Attorney General and Minister for Finance, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, took out a full page advertisement in the Fiji Sun this week calling for expressions of interest for the supply of materials.

The opposition leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa, said the expressions of interest are to be sent to Mr Intaz Shah, the acting manager of the Construction Implementation Unit in the Ministry of Finance.

Fiji's Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa.

Fiji's Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa. Photo: RNZI / Sally Round

Ro Teimumu Kepa said not much is known about the recently set up unit, its role, how Mr Shah was selected and whether its decisions will be referred to Mr Sayed Khaiyum for final approval.

She contended the supply contracts are normally handled by the Tenders Board but was unsure if it's still functional.

Out of the 40 plus hardware suppliers in Fiji, Ro Teimumu Kepa questioned how many have made donations to Mr Khaiyum's Fiji First party.

She said as the general secretary of Fiji First, a potential conflict exists and said Mr Khaiyum has demonstrated over the past eight years a tendency towards favouritism and nepotism.

The advertisement referred to more than US$33m in supplies to be awarded.