Thursday, 23 August 2012

Deloitte Report clears APRIL over Natadola Bay Project

The secretive Deloitte Report clears APRIL over Natadola Bay Project

The Board of the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) is refusing to release the Deloitte Forensic Audit Report made in 2010 to the public. The report which reportedly cost the FNPF members $1.5million cleared the previous developer APRIL and its founder Gerard Saliot of any wrongdoing regarding FNPF’s investment in the Natadola project from June 2004 until March 2007. The military appointed FNPF Board, acting on instructions of their masters, unlawfully terminated APRIL’s contract as Project Managers and Project Developers and appointed Bryan Jacob and his co-conspirators Sanjay Kaba of HLK Jacob, both structural engineers in APRIL’s place.

The secret Report, dated 21 July 2010, was divided into the following sections regarding Natadola:
Investment funding;
Payments made to suppliers;
Term deposits made by FNPF;
Location of assets purchased;
FNPF governance procedures; and
Conflicts of interest.
Not all of these sections were relevant to Gerard Saliot and APRIL’s involvement in the Natadola project.

All payments made during the APRIL management were found to be in order. There were no wrong payments involving Gerard Saliot entities.

The Report made some findings that some appointments of consultants etc made during the period APRIL was the Development Manager were made without a fully transparent or public tender process. However, Deloitte noted that in every such case the actual appointment were made and confirmed by the relevant FNPF or project Board ie there was no evidence that APRIL had abused its position in relation to any such appointment.

In its investigation, Deloitte noted that FNPF had spent Fiji $350M on its Natadola investment instead of the F$240M budgeted by APRIL in November 2006.

Crucially, the Report also found that there was no basis or justification for the former chairman of the Natadola Bay project Felix Anthony’s assertion that significant savings of over $100 million would flow from the removal of APRIL in the development of Natadola...!

In its investigation, Deloitte drew up a long list of what it classified as ‘lower risk payments’. The Report, however, concluded that there were no payments in this category that involved APRIL entities. What about the payments relating to the Bures at Natadola? Again, the Report found that all these payments were in order, and there was no evidence at all of any inappropriate or improper invoicing, delivery or payment.

Moreover, APRIL also never abused its position in relation to appointments etc etc.etc..

The Report also notes that after APRIL’s termination, serious defect’s in FNPF’s processes arose and were not remedied. Importantly, no competent (or any) Development Manager was appointed, and no replacement for GL Lal auditor was made.

Deloitte governance findings concluded with a recommendation that a referral of FNPF’s practices be made to FICAC. FICAC subsequently visited FNPF and took away all of its Natadola records. It is not known what, if any, action has flowed from that. Up today no action has been reported....?

Finally none in this expensive forensic audit were adverse to Gerard Saliot and Felix Anthony and his cronies were

In conclusion this forensic audit is all great stuff for Gerard Saliot and his reputation but unfortunately it will probably never see the light of day. It will also not help APRIL position at law in Fiji to get back his assets..

The best we could hope for is that local (Fiji) agitation for the release of the Deloitte Report will one day see all this being released and published. We wouldn’t hold our breath!

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