By Gorethy Kenneth in Port Moresby
Finance Minister Sir John Pundari has warned Papua New Guinea, which still holds the 102 APEC “loaned” vehicles to return them as soon as possible – or face the law.
A disappointed Sir John, flanked by Finance Secretary Dr Ken Ngangan and Police Commissioner David Manning said on Friday that the ultimatum notice which had been published in the newspapers recalling a total of 102 APEC vehicles in the hands of unauthorized persons was now obsolete.
Those involved would face the full force of the law.
“The seven-day ultimatum period expired on Thursday, September 16, and to date no one has returned the APEC vehicles,” he said.
“The Ministry of Finance has requested the engagement of the police, RTA and MVIL to establish a collective task force to recover all APEC vehicles in circulation.”
Designated officers from Finance Department, Motor Police – Boroko, NCD Traffic Police, RTA – Road Traffic Control Teams and MVIL are all ready to proceed with the recovery of the missing APEC vehicles .
The Recovery Working Group team would start performing the recovery shortly after Friday’s meeting.
Take inventory of assets
“In accordance with PFMA and NPA requirements, all APEC assets, including liabilities, have been taken over by the Ministry of Finance.
The Ministry of Finance had already made an inventory of the assets and was gradually preparing to sell them all by way of a call for tenders.
The divestiture of state assets was a financial management process under the Public Financial Management Law (PFMA) and the National Public Procurement Law (NPA).
It was by law that the Ministry of Finance was now the lawful custodian of all APEC assets, including vehicles.
He said there were two phases to this phase-out exercise – the elimination of 166 donated APEC vehicles, which ended in June.
“Our donor partners have agreed that the donated fleets will be allocated to schools, hospitals, churches / NGOs, ministries and other important charities.
“Regarding our balance sheet, we had 166 donated vehicles.
Fire trucks, ambulances and buses
“The vehicles donated were collectively fire trucks, ambulances and buses,” he said.
The divestiture of 326 state-purchased APEC vehicles and a total of 119 state-purchased low-end APEC vehicles have already been allocated and distributed to various ministries (public and statutory agencies, district and provincial governments, and public enterprises ) used for their administrative management. purposes.
“The Ministry of Finance is getting rid of the rest.
“Some of these fleets are now with agencies and individuals and they have been advised to bring them in for disposal.
“For example, more than 15 vehicles are now in temporary use by health, police and defense for covid-19 operations, and around 98 vehicles are in the hands of unauthorized persons,” he said.
The NEC, in Decision No. 5112021, ordered the Ministry of Finance to immediately get rid of all remaining stocks of APEC vehicles and address APEC issues.
The recovered APEC vehicles and other remaining stocks of APEC vehicles will be prepared for review and evaluation by the Department of Works. The AFN Board of Directors will then assess and approve the BoS assessment of the Works Department.
Public call for tenders
The AFN Board of Directors will also approve the tender for all remaining inventory of APEC vehicles purchased by the Crown.
All remaining stocks of APEC vehicles will be sold by public tender through the National Public Procurement Commission.
As a government team and stakeholders, we look forward to serving the government and its people while following the procurement processes established by the government.
“The government is committed to ensuring that it uses a fair and transparent distribution of wealth so that our citizens benefit from these APEC vehicle disposal processes,” Sir John said.
Papua New Guinea is one of the poorest countries in Apec, with 40 percent of the population living on less than a dollar a day, according to the United Nations.
Gorethy kenneth is a senior reporter for PNG Post-Courier.