Public report on the improper concessions given by the former Minister of Public Works, Mr. Amos Andeng to Mr. Li Zhong Heng – February 25, 2000 - Emalus Campus
Mr. Li Zhong Heng, a new businessman in Port Vila arranged to rent machinery from the Department of Public Works. He was initially charged the official rate of 5,000 vatu per hour by the Public Works Department for the use of the machinery. After receiving an invoice for rental at this rate, Mr. Li went to the Minister of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Mr. Amos Andeng to seek a reduction in the rental rate. Mr. Andeng agreed to reduce the rate and instructed the Director of the Public Works Department to apply “a reasonable price”. The foreman refused to make a change and continued to invoice Mr. Li at the official rate. Mr. Li, again contacted Mr. Andeng who, in June 1996 wrote to the foreman of the Public Works Department instructing him to bill Mr. Li at the rate of 3,000 vatu per hour. The Minister stipulated that this rate was to apply only to Mr. Li. In June, after further contact with Mr. Li, Mr. Andeng instructed the foreman of the Public Works Department to further reduce the hourly rate to 1,500 vatu. At the date of te public report Mr. Li had refused to pay any of the charges for the rental of the machinery.
The Ombudsman concluded that the conduct of Mr. Andeng was improperly discriminatory and against proper administrative practice.
· That the Ministry responsible for Public Works develop internal policy guidelines to regulate the use of Government property for private purposes.
· That policy guidelines be developed to protect officials such as the foreman of the Public Works Department in relation to rental of Government property.
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