THURSDAY, OCT. 21: Auditor General Heather Jacobs Matthews today released a Special Report on the Motor Vehicle Safety and Emissions Testing Programme. 

Mrs. Jacobs Matthews said: “This report, which focuses on Government’s management of the programme, describes a lack of accountability and a general disregard for established policies and procedures in the use of public funds.”

The Auditor General states that this Special Report highlights major concerns including:

  • A programme which was comprised from the outset.
  • Non-compliance with Government’s tendering policies and payment procedures.
  • Failure to obtain Cabinet approval prior to signing of contracts relating to the construction or operation of the testing facilities; and
  • Failure to vet the operating agreement and the related annual operating expenses.

“The manner in which the programme was managed provided little oversight by Government” said the Auditor General, “but resulted in Government retaining all the financial risks while effectively relinquishing control over the developmental costs to a consultant company.”

The report shows that the initial budget cost of the programme was $5.3 million. By the time it was completed, the programme cost taxpayers $15.23 million.