26 Sep 2016

Fiji Roads Authority accuses consultancy of extortion

11:11 am on 26 September 2016

The Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) has hit back at the global engineering consultancy MWH Global, accusing it of extortion, breaking its contract and damaging Fiji.

The fallout between the two came to light just over a week ago, when two senior workers for MWH Global were deported from Fiji without explanation.

MWH Global said it has been locked in a payment dispute with FRA since March, however FRA has responded saying the company refused to supply a specification for a $US9.7 million invoice.

The FRA has been working on Fiji's roads, delivering a badly-needed upgrade over the past five years that has included major bridges, culverts and highways.

Fiji was criticised for deporting the two men, and MWH Global said on Friday that it was ending its contract with the FRA due to a failure to pay.

The FRA CEO, John Hutchinson, has hit back strongly today, saying it has paid almost $US3 million to MWH Global so far, and the behaviour of the workers in communicating to third parties in an attempt to be paid was unlawful and unprofessional.

MWH Global has been sought for comment.

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