PLP Chairman: Explain how Road Traffic lost millions

Bradley Roberts

Bradley Roberts


Tribune Staff Reporter


PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts yesterday called on Auditor General Terrance Bastian to explain the “criterion” he used to determine the Road Traffic Department suffered millions in operating losses due to a severe lack of order.

In a press release, Mr Roberts also called for the matter to be “turned over to police” for a full investigation.

On Monday, Mr Bastian’s report was tabled in the House of Assembly.

It said that if a forecast was performed based on the total number of licence plates produced and issued, approximately 374,000 plates, to the public as of June 30, 2015, one would estimate that the motor vehicle licence revenue should be at a minimum of $73m (374,000 x $195) instead of the reported average of $26m per annum.

According to The Tribune’s calculations, that represents a revenue difference of $47 million.

If the approximate number of 374,000 plates was reduced by 50 per cent, the report said, there would still be an estimated loss of $10m as compared to the actual recorded revenue noted herein.

The audit of the department covered the period July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2015.

“I call on the Office of the Auditor General to provide the public with greater clarity on the criterion used to arrive at the huge figure of $47 million in operating losses due to ‘a severe lack or order’ at the department among other cited deficiencies. I am of the view that in light of the huge losses incurred at the department that this matter must be turned over to the police for a full investigation and let the chips fall where they may,” Mr Roberts said in statement.

“The Bahamian taxpayer deserves that much because after all, the losses incurred were tax dollars and more importantly, public confidence in our public institutions is at stake here.”

Mr Roberts also criticised the Free National Movement for “dodging responsibility” for operational deficiencies at the department.

“The FNM had five years in their last term to clean up this mess and did not see their way to doing so in the public interest. As a matter of fact the very same automation project that Glenys Hanna-Martin is currently executing was cancelled by the last FNM administration for unknown and undisclosed reasons but now Dr Hubert Minnis and Loretta Butler-Turner are conveniently calling for strong action to be taken on this matter,” Mr Roberts said.

“Where were they between 2007 and 2012 when strong action needed to be taken? Wonders never cease. It took the PLP’s return to office in 2012 to decisively address these vexing issues at the department in the public’s interest.”

Yesterday, FNM Chairman Sidney Collie called on Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna Martin to take responsibility for the losses at the department.

“Leadership is taking responsibility and finding solutions when things go wrong,” he said. “Unfortunately for Bahamians while the PLP knows a lot about self-congratulatory celebrations, they know little about true leadership. Case in point is Glenys Hanna Martin’s response to the PLP’s latest scandal . . .

“According to Mrs Hanna Martin she’s not responsible. If Mrs Hanna Martin, the substantive minister, is not responsible then this government needs to tell the people who is.

“Every day there is another scandal, and everyday another denial from the PLP,” Mr Collie noted.

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