Categorized | National News

Parties Trade Barbs Over Road Traffic Audit

Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Bradley Roberts and Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Sidney Collie yesterday blamed each other’s party for the deficiencies uncovered in the Auditor General’s recently tabled report into the affairs of the Road Traffic Department.

Mr. Collie accused the PLP of playing a shield game to hide their lack of leadership and stewardship of public funds.

“After the horse has bolted through the gate the PLP chairman is calling for an investigation of the mismanagement of public funds at the Road Traffic Department under the watch of his own party without taking any responsibility for the total waste and complete disregard of the peoples trust,” Mr. Collie said.

“Finally the PLP is following the FNM lead in calling for an investigation, while it is in fact the PLP administration that needs to answer for this debacle. Leadership means just that, not following and trying to cover oneself.”

Mr. Roberts, however, maintains that the FNM government’s policy of stop, review and cancel led to a number of problems which the previous PLP administration had attempted to resolve by modernizing operations at the department.

“The audit trail clearly shows that between 2002 and 2007, the PLP government sought to modernize the operations at the RTD through a Request for Proposal (RFP) and selected a vendor from a field of eight bidders to bring about this much needed modernization of the department to mitigate fraud, improve operational efficiency and reduce operating costs while strengthening and inculcating a culture of accountability and transparency,” Mr. Roberts said.

“The audit trail also clearly shows that the RFP process became a victim of the FNM’s infamous, ignoble and failed stop, review and cancel policy.

“Just as this disastrous policy was the cause of the tragic plane crash in Mayaguana, the cancellation of the project to modernize the RTD is a causal factor in the ongoing weak internal controls and instances of fraud that were cited in the Auditor General’s report.,” Mr. Roberts said.

Auditor General Terrance Bastian’s report showed that through mismanagement the Road Traffic Department incurred losses exceeding $47 million during a period of several years.

The report covers the time that the FNM administration was in office up to last year.

“The report fails to reference the findings and recommendations of the previous audit conducted during the watch of the FNM,” Mr. Roberts said. “Further, there is no record in the report of the policy and administrative steps the FNM government took to address the weak internal controls and susceptibility of the RTD during their watch.

“The RTD did not come into existence in July of 2012. These are deficiencies that the Auditor General must immediately correct.”














Written by Jones Bahamas

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