Vanuatu Project Management Unit (VPMU) has reported that Port Vila Urban Development Project, funded by the Australian government and a loan from the ADB, nears completion.
According to VPMU’s statement, the implementation arrangements for PVUDP are “satisfactory,” while overall, the VPMU project management team has “performed well.” Some delays were noted by the Mission relating to the design of certain key sections of the road including at Manples and Au Bon Marche Nambatu to wharf road. These have now been completed and works have since commenced at Manples while the wharf road section will now come in under Phase 2 of the project.
The report states the project cost estimate was updated on 24 April 2018 based on the latest construction cost-to-complete estimates. The updated cost estimated is $30.866 million. Project financing foreign exchange losses at 24 April 2018 amounted to $6.173 million.
To date, 16 contracts have been awarded with a cumulative value of $30.734 million and total of $23.120 million disbursed from the PVUDP loan and grant accounts.
Earlier this year it was reported by Australian media that PVUD project has been “rated poorly against a number of criteria” by an official audit.
The assessment, undertaken by the Australian National Audit Office in June 2015, found that the aid project had not followed “standard process” and planning had not been efficient.
The initially US$24.9 million Port Villa Urban Development Project (PVUDP) was announced by the Australian Labor Party (ALP) government in 2013. Funds were committed to resurface 21 km of roads in the Vanuatu capital as well as build 33 km of roadside drainage.
However, it was revealed in late January 2018 that the project is long overdue, of poor quality and millions of dollars over budget.
“While the design process is reasonably comprehensive and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) adhered to the required process for developing designs, there are limitations to the process, particularly in relation to monitoring and evaluation frameworks and risk management plans,” the report said.
“The planning for one initiative in particular, PVUDP, has not been efficient. To minimize the risk that the project will not be able to achieve its aims within the approved timeframe, DFAT should work with the contracted investment manager and the GoV to finalise and implement the design as soon as practicable.”