Alleged Threats Lead to Deportation
Questions over documentation of millions of dollars of fees charged by MWH Global to Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) led to the emerging dispute between the two.
It is alleged that threats made from the MWH side resulted in the deportation of two senior staff back to New Zealand on Friday.
This brought into the open the simmering contractual dispute in which neither party has wanted to comment on publicly.
FRA is understood to be working with its lawyers to put together an offer to settle the matter.
This will be made on the basis that MWH Global provides detailed substantiation of all its fees over the past three years.
MWH Global was initially hired by the Government to advise on options for reform in the engineering services associated with our road network, bridges and jetties.
Under the current contract, MWH Global, now part of Stantec, offers professional engineering services to the FRA.
On Friday, the two MWH Global employees, a construction manager and a maintenance manager – were expelled back to New Zealand.
This was confirmed by director Immigration Nemani Vuniwaqa on Saturday.
He said the directive to expel two foreign employees of MWH Global was from Government level.
In a statement on Friday MWH Global, now Stantec, confirmed that two Fiji-based employees were removed from Fiji.
It said: “Neither they, nor MWH, now part of Stantec, are aware of the reasons why they were removed. MWH, now part of Stantec, will make no further comment on this matter.”
MWH Global country manager Andrew Caseley refused to make any comments when approached on Saturday.
Fiji Roads Authority chief executive John Hutchinson said they did not know why the two MWH employees were deported on Friday.
Earlier on he had said they do not discuss contractual or commercial issues with anyone but the affected parties.
The MWH contract runs until the end of the year.
Edited by Maraia Vula