By JEFFREY ELAPA
ALL vehicles for the Southern Highlands provincial government and administration will be delivered through a private partnership with the provincial government.
Governor William Powi said the provincial executive council had endorsed the arrangement for effective service delivery and control of all provincial government assets and funds, so all vehicles services would be provided through the private-public partnership to prevent misuse.
He said the partnership would be transparent through a tender and procurement process.
During a provincial assembly meeting at the Agiru Centre conference room last week after the council passed the resolution a day earlier that the arrangement could well save costs and prevent or minimise unnecessary travel and abuse of vehicles by public servants. These often incurred high costs.
Powi said the provincial government was spending more than K20 million on vehicles and maintenance each year and the new arrangement will see costs reduced to about K3 million.
Private owners would supply drivers and vehicles would be returned to storage after use, he said.
The private owners would also be responsible for the care and maintenance of vehicles to provide effective and better service to the government and the provincial administration.
Powi said his provincial government could support the national government’s private-public partnership suggestion to encourage local entrepreneurs.
Powi said his government would look at local businesses with the capacity to provide services.
Partnership with state-owned enterprises would be fostered after a meeting with the minister. PNG Power, PNG Water Board, Telikom and the National Development Bank are among those enterprises plus training and recruitment through departments such as police to increase manpower could be done through partnership.
Powi said banking services were also available in the province with BSP Rural Banking arriving there and the opening of an ANZ branch in Mendi.
The fencing and reopening of the Mendi airport has taken place to allow Air Niugini flights into the province.
Meanwhile Business Coalition Against Corruption chairman Garry Kulangil is calling on Powi and his government to revive the public transport board.
He said the provincial government would buy more Land Cruisers from the K3 million for the public servants to use.
“It’s best to buy the vehicles and give it to the Works Department in the province to manage it and lease it out of the public servants to use them,” he said