Those involved are not doing themselves any favours to erase suspicions of impropriety by not disclosing why there was a shift from Pajeros to the Maseratis.
“We all want APEC to succeed. As the Minister for APEC, Tkatchenko needs public support to make APEC a success story. He will not get the support he needs if people feel they have been short-changed,” Mr Paska said
“The public feels they are only witnessing the tip of the iceberg than there is to what that meets the eyes. We call for full disclosure.
“The question is no longer about the Maseratis or their price. The Maseratis are here. The larger question is whether the procurement processes were done above board?”
He said there was information for instance that the matter was not brought to Cabinet and that apparently a fleet of executive Pajeros are already in the country meant for the same purpose – the APEC Leaders’ Summit next month.
“If correct then clearly the Maseratis have now displaced the Pajeros, so what will now happen to the fleet of Pajeros?”
Mr Paska said procurement is a dicey area of operation in companies and government agencies where the propensity to indulge in unsavory practices is very high.
“It is where goods and capital items are bought. Volume often dictates price and it is here that manipulation of price can occur often over dubious reasons for personal gain.
“I am not suggesting any wrong doing or guilt. I don’t think so. However those involved are not doing themselves any favours to erase suspicions of impropriety by not disclosing why there was a shift from Pajeros to the Maseratis, how the decision was made, the parties involved and who the private sector buyers are that will take ownership of the vehicles after APEC.
“We are talking about millions of kina here of public funds and the public is entitled to know how their tax money is being used.” Mr Paska said.