Wed | Oct 16, 2019

Opposition wants increased accountability at Dunn's River Falls

Published:Friday | August 10, 2018 | 12:00 AM

The People's National Party has said that reports of fraud at Dunn's River Falls and Park add to the "troubling scourge of corruption" affecting several government agencies and require an urgent response.

The Urban Development Corporation recently called in the police Fraud Squad, the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Task Force, and the Auditor General's Department to probe the operations of the St Ann attraction following the discovery of discrepancies between ticket revenues and sales.

"Having regard to the strong earning potential of Dunn's River and its importance to the tourism product, the Minister with responsibility for the Urban Development Corporation, Daryl Vaz, should state what mechanisms were in place to protect the nation's revenue, as well as the security of off-site ticket-purchase transactions," Shadow Minister of Tourism Dr Wykeham McNeill said in a press statement yesterday.

He explained that the systems at Dunn's River Falls and Park facilitate the pre-purchase of tickets through local and overseas agencies, and proper checks and balances must be established to ensure full protection of the revenues.

McNeill said that "the Dunn's River debacle once again signals the depth of corruption and theft in governance and that there is urgent need for a fulsome and transparent review of all public agencies in order to stem the continued pilferage of the public purse".

McNeill pointed to the recent increase in admission fees at the attraction, noting that despite a series of developmental and customer experience-enhancing projects that were undertaken by the staff to boost the satisfaction of the local and international clientele, "no mention was made of any mechanism to strengthen the accountability systems at the venue".