The Vanuatu Government has spent VT73 million to trade old government vehicles for new ones.
The Chairman of the Public Service Commission, Simil Johnson, says 16 government vehicles have been traded-in to Carpenter Motors, a car dealer in Vanuatu.
Mr Johnson says the trade-in is in accordance with government protocols that state, after five years, the government must buy new vehicles for its ministries.
He says the vehicles traded-in had been used for five years.
The Member of the Central Tender Board for the Government, Yannick Hughes, says, “The Central Tender Board of the Government had published a tender for the old vehicles and three car dealers in Vanuatu had shown their interest to trade with the Government.”
Mr Hughes says an independent committee had evaluated the bids.
He says the committee had reported that Carpenter Motors had won the bid.
In the past, the Public Service Commission has received reports of ministers and political appointees using government vehicles for personal purposes outside of working hours.
But, Mr Johnson says the commission has no power to monitor the use of government vehicles by ministers and political appointees.
He says this is a challenging issue for the commission because the use of government vehicles by ministers and political appointees is controlled by a Government Minister.
Mr Johnson says the commission can only monitor the use of government vehicles used by government department staff, including directors and director generals, using newly-fitted Global Positioning System (GPS) devices.
The GPS devices allow the movements of these vehicles to be tracked.
Of the 16 new vehicles, 13 will be allocated to the 13 ministers, including the Prime Minister. The other three will be allocated to the President of the Republic, Speaker of Parliament and the Chief Justice of Vanuatu.