Ministry of Economy yet to appoint peer review consultants for the yet-to-be completed Lautoka Swimming Pool Project

Ministry of Economy yet to appoint peer review consultants for the yet-to-be completed Lautoka Swimming Pool Project

By Rashika Kumar
Friday 26/11/2021
Permanent Secretary for Economy Shiri Gounder.

The Ministry of Economy is yet to appoint peer review consultants for the yet-to-be completed Lautoka Swimming Pool Project for which the cost has escalated from the budgeted amount of $2 million in 2016 to $12.6 million by 2020.

Acting Permanent Secretary for Economy, Shiri Gounder says they are in the process of assessing the peer review consultants.

He says once the consultants are contractually appointed, they can confirm the timelines for the completion of the peer review process and the entire project.

The Ministry of Economy had earlier told fijivillage that the pool project is on hold since it is under peer review process to thoroughly verify the value of works carried out by each party against the payment made to date and pending payment claims, defects and any further processes/activities undertaken during the construction stages.

The company that was awarded the contract by the Lautoka City Council to construct 3 pools as part of the Lautoka Swimming Pool Project, Luxury Pools has completed the pools as per contract while construction of the buildings to be done by another company as part of the aquatic centre project are yet to be completed.

Luxury Pools says they completed the 25-metre pool in March 2019, completed the children’s pool in May 2019 and the 50-metre main pool was completed in December 2019.

The contract for the construction of 3 pools was $4.8 million VIP.

The guarantee and retention period for defects after completion for 6 months also finished off in June 2020.

Fijivillage had also received information that the tenders for the construction of 3 pools and installation of the filters were put out separately.

The Economy Ministry’s Construction Implementation Unit had told Legend FM News a sum of $6.49 million had been paid to the consultant and contractors.

The unit said Luxury Pools had been paid a total of $4.4 million while another company has been paid a total of $1.28 million.

Lautoka City Council Special Administrator, Debra Sadranu had terminated the contracts of the building contractor and the project manager last year as there was a significant delay in the completion of the project.

Meanwhile, FICAC says they cannot disclose any information at this point in time in relation to the investigation into the Lautoka Swimming Pool Project.

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