Fra’s Management Approach
FRA pro-actively maintains, plans and develops the road network to meet Fiji’s immediate and long term needs
FRA has been given the task of developing a road network which meets the needs of a developing Fiji. Our approach is to focus on two core activities:
- Maintaining the road network to keep it in the desired condition
- Expanding and developing the network to meet tomorrows needs
Maintenance is planned and pro-active. Otherwise, the safety and reliability of the network declines rapidly, or costs spiral out of control. FRA is committed to recovering from the previous decline of the network and getting ahead of the deterioration by carrying out a systematic and routine maintenance programme.
This is standard international practice and is proven to be the only way to bring long term costs under control and provide a safe and reliable network.
We are also engaging in a massive programme of building new roads and widening existing ones. This will provide extra capacity for economic growth as well as connecting isolated parts of the country to economic and social opportunity.
The principles of infrastructure asset management outline the following hierarchy for consideration when developing investment strategies for public infrastructure assets (refer to Table 2 for definitions of types of work):
- Emergency Work
- Renewal, reconstruction or replacement of existing assets’
- New assets with demonstrable return on investment
- New assets driven by social, environmental, political, cultural imperatives
The basic premise is that an asset owner should, over the long term, invest sufficiently in the existing asset base to sustain it. Following this it is acknowledged that ‘lead infrastructure’ investments by Governments can create the economic development head room to allow the economy to grow. This pays itself back over time and the growing economy allows investment in projects that are much needed, but do not have economic rates of return in their own right. These projects allow social and economic connectedness to greater proportions of the nation and can assist in slowing rates of urbanisation etc. which can place greater burdens on other areas of Government spending and resources.
How we manage our work programme
The FRA manages a programme of work which is made up of over 300 activity areas, many of which represent hundreds of separate sub-activities. In order to manage this huge level of activity and expenditure in a coordinated, open and transparent way, we divide the programme up into 13 categories of work and spending.
|FRA MANAGEMENT AND OPERATIONS||The costs of FRA’s staff, premises, equipment, vehicles and other items which are essential to the effective operation of the business.|
|PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL SERVICES||Includes fees for specialist technical and management support including expenditure on IT systems to improve the efficiency of our network management.|
|MAINTENANCE||The work done to keep our existing roads bridges and jetties in working order. This includes minor repairs as well as all the routine works such as vegetation control and keeping drainage systems clear.|
|EMERGENCY WORKS||Any work that has to be done to repair damage caused by flooding or extreme weather events. This might include stabilising land slips, fixing bridges or repairing damaged drainage systems.|
|RENEWALS – ROADS AND SERVICES||When assets (roads bridges and jetties) reach a certain level of deterioration they become too expensive to keep on fixing and maintaining. At this point it represents better value to rebuild the asset from scratch. Many of Fiji’s roads and bridges have reached this point.|
|RENEWALS – BRIDGES|
|RENEWALS – JETTIES|
|NEW CAPITAL (Safety)||New Capital represents the work we do to extend and upgrade the networks. This includes new roads as well as existing ones that we widen or improve substantially.
We categorise New Capital according to the primary purpose for building the new asset. For example: projects which are primarily safety fit into that category; projects such as road widening in Suva are primarily about reducing congestion.
|NEW CAPITAL (Access)|
|NEW CAPITAL (Community)|
|NEW CAPITAL (Congestion)|
|NEW CAPITAL (Tourism)|
|NEW CAPITAL (Resilience)|
One of the ways we measure work is through ‘expenditure’. Expenditure is the dollar value of the work that has been done. For example, if one of our contractors is building an embankment for a road and moves 1000m3 of earth for a particular task, then this work is measured and recorded. It is important to understand that our contractors are only paid for the work they have done and formally agreed with our representatives on site.
Under most of our contractual arrangements the physical work that is done is not paid for until 42 days after the claim for that work has been submitted. This means that we have sufficient time to verify that the work has been completed to the required standard. It also means that, at any time, there is a difference between what we potentially owe and what has been paid and committed. This is why we use ‘expenditure’ to manage our work – to ensure that all our potential liabilities are captured in our programme management.
Long term planning is the key to good investment decisions
Expenditure and investment of this magnitude requires careful long term planning to ensure the money is spent properly and wisely. This is why the FRA was set up as a planning and procurement authority with transparency and accountability underpinning everything we do.
All of our operational practices, planning principles, risk management, reporting frameworks and resource management are set out in an integrated set of manuals. This represents international best practice and we endeavour to maintain these manuals with regular reviews.
FRA procures all work from the private sector under the scrutiny of a Board
As a statutory corporate entity the FRA is accountable to the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport through a Board appointed by the Minister.
Under the CEO there are 5 functional areas, each with a manager reporting directly to the CEO. FRA’s structure is illustrated in Figure 2.
Figure 2 – FRA’s Corporate Structure and Government relationship