APEC Authority documents show that at least 500 vehicles have been procured by the O’Neill Government for APEC, many of them Land Cruisers and Prados similar in luxury to the Bentleys, Maseratis and Mahindras.
“The astonishing total indicates that a free-for-all of greed is taking place under the guise of APEC,” Sir Mekere Morauta, Member for Moresby North-West said yesterday.
“Many of them have been claimed by the Prime Minister, the APEC Minister and top APEC Authority officials, who already have vehicles allocated to them as part of their contracts.
“Others have gone to ministers and their outriggers, public servants and the heads of statutory bodies who are also allocated vehicles as part of their contracts."
Sir Mekere said the APEC Authority documents do not reveal the total cost of vehicle acquisitions.
But it must be astronomical, he said.
Nor do the documents indicate whether public competitive tenders were called for all these vehicles, as required by the APEC Act, whether their procurement was scrutinised by the APEC Probity Auditor, as required by the Act, or whether they are to be disposed of after APEC by competitive public tender as required by the Act.
The details are:
Prados and Land Cruisers 208
Rav 4s 30
Hyundai Accents 23
Ford Rangers and Everests 12
Mazda BT50s 5
“This vehicle procurement by APEC highlights the greed and self-indulgence of the Prime Minister and the APEC Minister,” Sir Mekere said.
“It highlights their twisted priorities - spending tens of millions of kina on luxury vehicles at a time when ordinary Papua New Guineans are suffering unprecedented hardship, and the nation is almost bankrupt. What is the total cost of vehicles purchased for APEC? K100 million? Or more?
“That money should have been spent on health and education and other essential services, not a giant party for foreigners and PNC cronies.
“Just as the need to solicit donations from Australia, China, New Zealand, the USA, Japan, Canada, Indonesia and Korea demonstrates that Papua New Guinea cannot afford APEC, if we really needed 500 cars to host APEC, that also shows that Papua New Guinea cannot afford to host the event.”
The full details of the vehicle arrangements are available here, https://apecpngtenders.org/tenders/ under the item Transport Managing and Maintenance.