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2013 was the FRA’s first year of operation as a separate body after a year of transition from a Government Department with more than 1150 employees to a corporate entity that will remain a relatively small entity focussed on management and policy. As a statutory corporate entity the FRA is accountable to the Prime Minister via an appointed Board. FRA is currently governed by the Fiji Roads Advisory Committee (FRAC) and a key activity for the first part of 2014 is to complete the process of appointing a Board of Directors.
Part of the transition from being a government department involves the divestment of ‘non-core’ activities. During 2013 the former DNR quarries ceased operations whilst the testing laboratories have been structured as a business unit within FRA for the purpose of ultimately divesting them as a going concern. That is expected to happen during 2014.
FRA manages the roading assets primarily through out-sourced contracts with the private sector. The exception to this is certain maintenance work carried out by Municipal Councils and the management of roads on the Outer Islands which are administered by the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development under a MoU with FRA. The key areas of activity and the contractor undertaking each are listed below.
(a) MWH (New Zealand) has been appointed as FRA’s Principal Professional Engineering Services Adviser through to 31 December 2016.
(b) Three maintenance contracts are in place for periods of four – six years commencing 1 January 2013:
• Central and Eastern Division – Fulton Hogan Hiways Joint Venture
• Northern Division – Fulton Hogan Hiways Joint Venture
• Western Division – Higgins Group
(c) New Construction and Renewal Work is undertaken by various contractors including:
(i) China Rail First Group
(ii) China Rail Fifth Group
(iii) China Gezhouba
(iv) the successful parties who tender for work on a project by project basis; and by
(v) the maintenance contractors (whose contracts also include responsibility for some of the renewals).