O’Neill was responding to a series of questions from Opposition Leader Don Polye during Question Time in Parliament today.
Opposition Leader Don Polye asked who is the in-country agent of the Indonesia Company awarded to print ballot papers, the bidding process, the cost compared to Government Printing Office, shareholding of Tried Print and the extension of Form 29 to fill bio-data of intending candidates.
O’Neill said the Electoral Commissioner was appointed on merit by an impartial committee which the Opposition Leader is a member of and the independency of the PNGEC office must be respected.
“I do not give him direction, he writes a report to Cabinet which I table in Parliament.”
The Prime Minister said, the extension of Form 29 for candidates is a decision taken by PNGEC to give ample time for intending candidates update their bio-data that will be included in the printing of the ballot papers.
O’Neill said from the letter received from PNGEC states that the decision to award a contract to Pura Group was based on the cost factor, and security requirements that GPO cannot do.
He added that no PNC party members have an interest in Tried Print.