Mon | Dec 18, 2017

Transport ministry to address JUTC overstaffing and costly JAMINTEL acquisition today

Published:Friday | October 13, 2017 | 9:06 AM
JAMINTEL building

The transport ministry is expected today to address overstaffing at the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) and the costly acquisition of the JAMINTEL building in downtown Kingston by the Transport Authority.

Transport Minister Mike Henry is also expected to reveal the results of an Internal Audit he ordered at JUTC earlier this year.

The ministry says he will hold a press conference to clarify the issues at 11 o'clock at the ministry.

On Wednesday, JUTC Managing Director, Paul Abrahams, told members of the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee of Parliament (PAAC) that the bus company has 500 more employees than is needed to run its operations.

Abrahams said this is costing the company $25 million per month or $300 million a year.

Yesterday, Justice Minister Delroy Chuck described the overstaffing as political patronage.

Meanwhile, the Transport Authority is looking to sell the asbestos-plagued JAMINTEL building, which it has spent $200 million to acquire and secure since 2014.

Managing director of the Transport Authority, Cecil Morgan, told members of the PAAC that the entity had no plans to occupy the building.

He cited security concerns and the lack of funds required to refurbish the building.  

He said it would cost $450 million to refurbish half of the building and a decision was taken that the Transport Authority could not afford that kind of expenditure at this time.