Drive for limousine quality defended

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 December, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 December, 1998, 12:00am

A decision to place more emphasis on quality when buying limousines for officials had not breached guidelines, the Public Accounts Committee was told.

Purchases in 1996 had put equal stress on price and quality, the Auditor said.

But this was not in line with guidelines that required a weighting in favour of cost.

Secretary for Treasury Denise Yue Chung-yee said the Government Land Transport Agency had not acted improperly: 'It is a general guideline only, and we allow flexibility.' But the Director of Audit stressed the importance of cost in tendering.

He also found the Government had to tender again in 1996 after officials complained the new limousines were uncomfortable.

Officials were also questioned on the need to specify extra minimum requirements for exterior dimensions in the tenders, absent in the 1992 practice.

'If selection is based solely on the interior dimensions, the external appearance and size may be unsuitable to reflect the relative rank and status of the post of the officers using the car,' said Peter Walker, government land transport administrator.