Cloud hangs over 60 TPDCo projects
Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis has said that despite requests from her department, the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) has failed to provide evidence of the criteria used to select projects under the Tourism Improvement Programme (TIP).
TPDCo manages the TIP, which spans the 63 constituencies and involves several municipal corporations and licensed agencies.
Under the programme, each constituency was allocated $3 million annually to undertake projects, which was subsequently increased to $4 million during the financial year 2019-20.
Records provided by the TPDCo showed that 315 contracts valued at $1.078 billion were executed over the period 2014-15 to 2019-20.
Monroe Ellis explained that the TIP was expected to address the insufficient spread of tourism benefits to communities within and outside the main tourist areas. It was also intended to improve access to some areas where attractions are located and assist in the diversification of the country’s tourism product.
The auditor general said she expected TPDCo to select and prioritise projects based on established criteria that align with the company’s main objective of enhancing the tourism product and offering the best value for money spent.
“We reviewed 60 of the 315 contracts and noted that, in some cases, there was no apparent linkage between the project and the value to the tourism sector,” Monroe Ellis said.
The auditor general said her department was unable to determine whether the 60 selected contracts were completed on time because of the absence of completion dates and actual completion certificates.