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Transport and Works Minister, Robert Pickersgill has said there was no urgent need to conduct a forensic audit of the operations of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), as the bus company’s audited financial statements were up-to-date.
Minister Pickersgill, who was speaking yesterday (August 19), at a press conference at the Transport Ministry in Kingston to announce new bus and taxi fares, informed journalists that the JUTC’s external auditors, K.P.M.G completed the company’s 2004/05 audit last month. The Auditor General, he added, has also completed his audit, as his final interview took place on July 18.
The Minister was responding to concerns expressed by the Opposition that “widespread cronyism and corruption were taking place at the JUTC”, and a forensic audit should be carried out.
“There is no evidence that has come to light in all the examinations of the company’s finances that would suggest that any forensic audit of the JUTC is required,” he told journalists, highlighting the fact the company’s internal auditors were continuously reviewing transactions into which the company entered.
“The Ministry of Finance audits the budget of the company. In keeping with the Management and the Accountability Act, there is a Finance and Procurement Committee overseeing operations, chaired by no less a person than the former Financial Secretary, Shirley Tyndall,” he said.
Mr. Pickersgill further noted that the bus company had on its own volition, engaged the services of Financial Transit, a leading transportation management and operations organisation that worked within the United States and the United Kingdom, to carry out an operational audit.