Call to Account – Corruption and Mismanagement Rife @Transport Board
There is another important exercise unfolding in the Barbados Parliament. One of the most important working committees of parliament – PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE (PAC) – chaired by leader of the Opposition Reverend Joseph Atherley has been meeting to call to account the workings of the Transport Board. The revelations from the PAC so far corroborate the Auditor General’s several reports over the years – see recent Auditor General Special Audit of the Transport Board 2019. The Transport Board joins the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Barbados Water Authority and other SOEs to be deliberately mismanaged by BOTH political parties over the years to facilitate the siphoning of taxpayers dollars to feed corrupt behaviour.
It is good to see the PAC doing its work and carried live for the public to follow. From the number of views logged on the videos it tells a story of perennial disinterest by the general public. Truth be told the matter of a lack of civic awareness and lack of engagement in our system of democracy by Barbadians is a subject the BU family has flogged unmercifully over the years.
Some of us are quick to call for impact assessment studies; environmental, traffic, social to be undertaken to inform important decision making by the authorities. The blogmaster takes the opportunity to ask for another study to determine the impact of a poorly run Transport Board on the nation of Barbados about to celebrate our 53rd year of independence.
After watching the first PAC meeting on the 4th November 2019 the blogmaster decided to visit the Bridgetown river bus terminal early a morning to observe and experience first hand. The terminal has the look and feel of any public terminal, the PA system was used efficiently to inform the public when to queue at the gates. A few private buses co-opted by the Transport Board to supplement public transport were seen doing the job. The one negative was the length of time one had to wait for a bus. The blogmaster boarded a bus at 9AM and scores of children were still in the terminal and standing at bus stops along the route waiting to be transported. The look of resignation on the young faces suggest the wait was a normal occurrence.
The mismanagement of the Transport Board and other State Owned Entities (SOEs) by successive governments have had a debilitating financial and SOCIAL impact on our people. A mismanaged Transport Board continues to contribute to the degradation of our society and the powers that be prefer to serve self interest rather than deliver on the mandate to serve the people. Something has got to give!