EXECUTIVES of the National Planning Office’s Construction Implementation Unit yesterday made an introductory visit to the Fiji Corrections Service headquarters in Suva.
Acting Principal Economic Planning Officer Sanaila Laqai said the visit was an initiative to “touch base with them, relay our expectations and give them a list of programs we intend to follow up on”.Mr Laqai was accompanied by Senior Economic Planning Officer Ilisoni Matakece and met senior FCS members including Assistant Commissioner (Administration) Apimeleki Taukei and projects manager Setoki Silivale.
“We are now responsible for monitoring key programs and budget projects. We will also be monitoring the recruitment of officers which was announced by FCS and we’ll also check on the number of inmates and burial grounds. We won’t just focus on the capital side of things but also on operations,” he said.Mr Laqai said monitoring was the best way to determine how they would work together.“It was a good meeting and we are happy with the outcomes. We will conduct monthly monitoring visits to keep a tab on issues,” he said.
FCS Acting Commissioner Kameli Ratuvakalevulevu said their target was to fast-track the initial stages to kick off projects immediately.”Come the end of the year, we should complete the projects and also utilise well the funds provided by the ministry. We need stringent control measures to be taken in looking after the projects so we need people there who have that type of mindset – to understand the importance of finishing a project on time.”At the end of the day, the FCS will be happy and the government will see that the funds are being well utilised.”Mr Ratuvakalevulevu said this would mean better infrastructure for inmates, meeting UN requirements, reduce overcrowding in corrections facilities and remand centres.