Close eye on projects

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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Strategic Planning, National Development and Statistics, Prof. Biman Prasad during break between sessions at the Parliament complex in Suva on Monday, Sep 11, 2023. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Continuous monitoring and evaluation of government-funded projects will now become a norm, says Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Professor Biman Prasad as he began a three-day tour of the Western Division yesterday.

He toured the Taiwan Technical Mission farm in Sigatoka, Nasau Training Centre in Nacocolevu, Nawaicoba Research Station in Nadi, Nagado Water Treatment Plant and the Tuvatu Gold Mine.

“The main purpose of visits like this is to ensure we get to see how budget allocations are being implemented,” Prof Prasad said.

“We will soon be finishing three months and by February or March, we are again trying to look at allocations for the next budget.

“So the window between one budget and the next budget in terms of implementation has to be understood, that is very small and that it needs quick fixes.

“What we also want to ensure is value for money — what used to happen was by the time the contractors were getting ready, either it was rushed or built at a cost that was exorbitant or the quality of the project was not good.

“So these visits are very important for the Ministry of Finance — the idea is that the ministry is monitoring and evaluating and understand how projects are done.

“Otherwise year on year out we have the same problems.”

Today, Prof Prasad will visit Vuda Abattoir, Lautoka Golden Age Home, Lautoka Hospital, Tavakubu Subdivision, Koroipita Model Town, Jobs for Nature Project in Nailaga Village and the Lautoka sugar mill.