PAC to question JUTC heads on adverse audit findings

PAC to question JUTC heads on adverse audit findings

Senior staff reporter

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

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THE management of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) is scheduled to appear at a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) at Gordon House today to answer questions about the adverse findings of an auditor general (AG) report on the entity's performance between 2014 and 2019.

According to the audit report, which went to Parliament in July last year, ridership with the state-owned bus company dropped by 36.5 per cent over the five years, and there was an 11.6 per cent decline in available bus service during the period. Furthermore, the investigation uncovered a net accumulated shortage of more than 231,222 litres of fuel valued at some $36.5 million. There were also $178.7 million worth of obsolete spare parts at the end of 2018/19.

Last week, at a meeting of the PAC, Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis said that no reason had been proffered by the JUTC, up to that point, for failure to provide a response to the report.

Committee Chairman Julian Robinson, Member of Parliament for St Andrew South Eastern, said he was concerned that the JUTC had not responded in over six months.“This gives me even greater concern that they need to be here to answer the questions. If the AG has completed a report from July, and has asked for a response and six months later we can't get a response, that is a red flag for me.”

The Jamaica Observer understood that the JUTC's response was submitted yesterday.

Monroe Ellis noted in the audit report that an analytical review of the JUTC's financial statements over the period 2009/10 to 2012/13, which was tabled in 2015, revealed a consistent fall in ridership and associated decline in revenue. “An attempt to reassess JUTC's performance through a five-year financial statement trend analysis was thwarted owing to the absence of financial statements for the period 2017/18 and 2018/19,” she noted.

The performance audit was commissioned to determine the root cause of the reduction in the use of the service provided by the JUTC over the years, and sought to determine whether the company had adequate internal controls to enable operational efficiency.

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