Public Report on the illegal tender procedure adopted by former Director of Lands, Roger Tary and former Minister of Lands Paul Telukluk for Canal du Second II and Pepsi Subdivision water projects, Luganville – November 25, 1998 - Emalus Campus
The Director of Lands in Port Vila, Roger Tary, on the instructions of the then Minister of Lands, Paul Telukluk, awarded 2 contracts to Sowy Leing Company (SLC) for the installation of water pipes for 2 projects; one in the Canal du Second area of Santo (first contract) and the other in the Pepsi Subdivision area of Santo (second contract).
The process for awarding the contracts did not conform with the requirements of the Financial Regulations or the Public Finance Act. Specifically no Tender Board was constituted and no open competitive bidding took place. Money for the projects was transferred to the authority of Mr. Tary who was to act as project manager. This was authorized by the Minister of Finance, Willie Jimmy.
The first contract was awarded to SLC by the Director of Lands in June 1993 after an estimate was submitted by SLC to the Department of Lands in Port Vila, bypassing the Santo Urban Lands Office. The second contract was awarded in November 1995 in the same manner. SLC was paid 9,602,690 vatu for the second project, 7 million vatu more than it was worth.
Although there were delays and serious defects in the work done by SLC, there were no contract documents against which to measure the standards of workmanship or the scheduling of the work. Further, SLC did not have a licence to undertake construction work and the General Manager, Mr. Ernest Maler had no formal qualifications in either construction or plumbing.
The usual procedure for the awarding contracts for such work involves the presenting of projects to the National Planning Office which checks the project and sends it to the National Development Commission for discussion. In respect of the second contract, the Council of Ministers first approved the contract, thereby leaving the National Planning Office with little choice but to approve it. Mr. Tary, Mr. Telukluk, the Minister of Lands and Mr. Malere were all UMP members or supporters. Mr. Telukluk instructed Mr. Tary to proceed with the project using SLC. Nineteen ninety five was an election year and the project was used as political propaganda. In doing so, Mr. Telukluk breached the Leadership Code by placing himself in a position of conflict of interest where his personal political ambitions and his party’s interests were in conflict with those of the people of Vanuatu. Mr. Tary breached the Finance Regulations in respect of the awarding of the contracts and, in doing so, breached the Leadership Code.
· That Mr. Telukluk should not be considered for any Ministerial portfolio in any future Government of Vanuatu.
· That Mr. Tary, not be considered for any position in any future Government.
· That the current Director of Lands ensure that his officers have access to and follow the Finance Regulations.
· That SLC not be accepted to complete the projects.
Written by Edward R. Hill
UNDP Governance and Accountability Project
© Ombudsman of Vanuatu
Published here by University of the South Pacific, School of Law Web Site - www.vanuatu.usp.ac.fj