The Chairman of the Public Service Commission (PSC), Martin Mahe, on Friday handed over a cheque for Vt5,209,536 to Xavier Dolacinski, of Geocal Limited, the company that won the contract to install the global positioning system (GPS) in government vehicles.
The 80 per cent part payment for the work comes two days after the Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai, signed the contract with Geocal Limited, the New Caledonia-based company, to install the GPS in the government vehicles.
PSC Chairman Mahe says 300 government vehicles mainly those used for administration work including vehicle exempted (VE) number plated vehicles mainly used by technical advisors will be tracked using the GPS.
He says the main emphasis for installing the GPS in government vehicles is to control the use of the vehicles and stop the rampant misuse of government vehicles that had plagued governments-after-governments over the years especially with high fuel and maintenance costs.
“The aim is to reduce the Vt2 million costs to government annually through misuse of the vehicles.
“With this system PSC will not hesitate to discipline staff who misused government vehicles,” he emphasized.
The government vehicles on Efate, Santo, Lakatoro and Tanna will be the first to be fitted with GPS followed by those in the provincial centres of Sola and Ambae with the job by Geocal Limited expected to be completed in February 2018.
“Misuse of government vehicles is a long story faced by governments-after-governments.
“This government took the policy direction last year to move the responsibility for vehicles and housing which used to be with the Director-Generals of Ministries to the Public Service Commission to control the use of the vehicles,” Chairman Mahe explained.
“The directive came without a budget and it took some time until some money was available this year to implement a vehicle control mechanism with the assistance of this GPS supplier and I am happy to handover this first payment to the contractor, Geocal Limited,” he added.
The space-based radionavigation system will operate in partnership with Telecom Vanuatu Limited (TVL) providing geolocation and time information to a GPS receiver that will be monitored by staff of the PSC’s Fleet Management Division (FMD) at the Prime Minister’s Office in Port Vila.
The system has been configured into the mobile phones of the staff meaning that they can be anywhere and can still monitor the vehicles use and see the drivers. When a particular ringtone comes on it means a vehicle has violated the rules for use of the vehicles and they can quickly note the car, its driver, location and the infringement caused.
The GPS will provide live feeds and allow staff of the FMD to monitor vehicles for speed, concentration of driver and fuel use. It will also allow them to see the total number of vehicles each government ministry has which has been difficult in the past to ascertain.
“Most of all it will contribute to proper management of spending on vehicles,” Chairman Mahe added.
“The system will also help with proper management of maintenance and servicing of vehicles to ensure they are always in good mechanical state.”
On Wednesday, the Prime Minister signed a second contract with Au Bon Marche who will be the supplier of fuel for all government vehicles.