Increased Transport Authority costs not justified by results – Auditor General
A performance audit of the Transport Authority by the Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis has found that despite significant increases in expenditure on monitoring and enforcement, the public transport regulatory body was ineffective in carrying out its mandate.
According to Monroe Ellis, the audit was done against the background of significant complaints from stakeholders and concerns regarding the effective use of public resources in the sector.
The Auditor General charged that her department was not assured that the Transport Authority received value for money spent in that regard.
The Transport Authority increased the number of inspectors by 50 per cent, which contributed to an increase in the number of summonses issued from 10,343 in 2012/13 to 15,814 in 2016/17.
In October 2015, the Transport Authority launched a public awareness campaign highlighting the dangers of using illegal transport.
According to the Auditor General, the increased activities, contributed to an increase in the operational costs of the authority, jumping from $792 million in 2012/13 to $1.2 billion in 2016/17.
Over that period, the authority's core operational costs totalled $4.8 billion.
The performance audit stated that the increased issuing of summonses failed to deter the habitual breaches by licensed public passenger vehicles (PPV) and illegal operators.
The auditor general concluded that there was no evidence of the Transport Authority's effectiveness in stemming illegal activities.
Monroe Ellis pointed out that the Transport Authority issued fewer summonses for high-risk offences.
Of the 68,043 summonses issued in the Kingston Metropolitan Transport Region (KMTR), 66 per cent were for low risk offences.