NEWS

Public Accounts Committee Questions Sigatoka Town Council On Tender Process

‘As the demand increases, there is a need to increase the size of the roadside market vendors from 25 to 74 vendors.’
13 Apr 2022 12:53
Public Accounts Committee Questions Sigatoka Town Council On Tender Process
Sigatoka Town Council acting chief executive officer, Anand Pillay while making their submission to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on April 12, 2022. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The Sigatoka Town Council was queried by the Parliament Standing Committee on Public Accounts yesterday. They questioned why there was no tender process carried out for capital works on the construction of the Cuvu Market Project in the year 2018.

While making their submission to the committee yesterday, Sigatoka Town Council acting chief executive officer, Anand Pillay, said the council incurred a cost of $119,944.41 for the construction of the Cuvu market. Mr Pillay also revealed that the council did not tender for capital works carried out in 2018.

“The Cuvu market Project commenced in 2018 with a demand of roadside vendors having proper market stalls to sell their produce,” he said.

“A portion of land was acquired from the Fiji Police Force for the construction of the said project.

“The project commenced with the initial plan of having a proper roadside stall with shelter. This work was executed by the council while the civil works were out-sourced following proper financial processes.

“But as the demand increases, there is a need to increase the size of the roadside market vendors from 25 to 74 vendors. Therefore the council decided to construct a proper building to fully accommodate these market vendors from Nadroumai, Tagitagi, Cuvu, Cuvu Top and other nearby communities.

“With the increase in the size of the market, there is also a need for extra civil work. So another purchase order was issued following its processes. Separate invoices and payment were done following the council’s manual of accounts.”

Committee member Aseri Radrodro sought clarification from the Auditor General on their audited report which stated that there was no tender process carried out for capital works on the project.

Assistant Auditor-General Moshin Ali said the manual of accounts which the council was supposed to be followed in capital projects was quite clear.

“It says that the procurement in excess of $10,000 needs to be tendered. So in this case the entire construction of the market as explained by the CEO included civil works and also the actual construction of the market itself and then the construction or the civil works was given to one supplier the payment is in excess of $10,000,” he said.

Mr Radrodro then questioned the town council to explain why there was no call for tender as per their regulations.

Mr Pillay then clarified that in three quotations that were obtained, the one below $10,000 was chosen.

“But as mentioned earlier the demand had increased for the number of stalls during the course of the work, then the civil works were reconsidered again and that had proceeded the amount.

“The demand for more market stalls increased while into the construction phase thus the amount exceeded $10,000.”

He added that the market vendors who were selling on the roadside had requested for the market to be done as soon as possible and the council prioritised their safety and also considered the risk that was present when they sold by the roadside.

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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