The government has very poor maintenance practices, we have been told that for every $5 we have been spending on new capital expenditure, we have been spending $1 on maintenance but we are told it should be the other way around in order to lengthen the life and improve the value of our assets.
Those are the comments of the Fiscal Review Committee Chairman, Richard Naidu at the National Economic Summit.
He says the ADB and the World Bank have told the committee that our capital expenditure priorities are wrong.
Naidu says they have been told that in common with other Pacific countries, we have a build, deteriorate, rebuild model of capital expenditure.
He says a lot of Fiji’s capital expenditure that is provided for in the budget is undelivered from year on year, sometimes by as much as 50 percent, so we have planning and implementation issues.
Naidu also reveals that there is no whole of Government Asset Register or comprehensive maintenance program.
He says this was a surprise to the committee, and everybody is doing their own thing.
The Chair says they have one department with 212 properties trying to manage maintenance of an excel spreadsheet.
Naidu adds the major utilities are grant dependent and do not control their own money.
He says if you are only being told every 6 months how much money you will get, how can you enter into long term contracts which are likely to add greater value.
The Chair further says social spending including water and electricity subsidies is increasingly poorly targeted.
He says you get into a system, its a bit like the Hotel California, you never leave, so nobody graduates out and that means we are increasingly poorly targeting spending.
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