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Transport Ministry under fire over vehicles sent to CMU

Transport Ministry under fire over vehicles sent to CMU

Posted  111 Views updated 11 months ago

The Ministry of Transport and Mining is coming under fire for not being able to account for four of 15 vehicles reportedly sent to the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) under an arrangement for servicing and repairs, as part of the tertiary institution’s training programme.

Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis has urged officials at the Ministry to take urgent steps to update its motor vehicle management and monitoring system to properly account for vehicles under its portfolio.

The country’s guardian of public expenditure said that the transport ministry’s failure to obtain the required approval and to maintain appropriate information, including the condition and date when the 15 vehicles were sent to CMU, demonstrates the absence of a proper system of control over public property to safeguard assets under its stewardship.

In her annual report that was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, the auditor general said that seven of the vehicles were still at CMU, but not in working condition.

“At the time of audit in November 2021, two vehicles were currently in use at CMU. The remaining two were returned to MTM, but were not in working condition at the time of the audit.”

The ministry did not keep a record of the time or condition in which the vehicles were returned.

Monroe Ellis pointed out that the Government’s Asset Management Policy requires the approval of the financial secretary for the transfer and loan of assets.

However, the auditor general found no evidence of the Ministry of Finance’s approval, authorising the transfers of the motor vehicles to the CMU or loaned to the Jamaica Urban Transport Company (JUTC).

The auditor general said that improper record keeping and the failure of the Ministry to proactively manage the vehicles under its control may have resulted in the poor administration of another 10 vehicles, one of which cannot be located.

She said that another vehicle loaned to the JUTC was scrapped of the steering wheel, front seat, engine, and electrical parts.

The other seven vehicles have been out of commission for protracted periods.

Monroe Ellis said that the weaknesses in the motor vehicle management system may have resulted in significant deterioration and loss of Government assets.

As such, she said that the responsible officers may become subject to surcharge proceedings.

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