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– PAC mulls actions against contractor too “busy” to complete job The use of taxis and an incomplete $10M contract at the National Exhibition Centre, Sophia, were the focus yesterday when the examination of the 2011 Auditor General’s report continued before Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC).In the first instance, taxi services – Indian Chief, R&T Taxi Service and Green Ice -were paid $11.1M in 2011 by the Ministry of Tourism, Commerce and Industry to take staffers on its businesses.Officials of the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Commerce during their appearance of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee yesterday.In 2009, the figure was in excess of $13M with this dropping to $10M the following year.Appearing before the Parliamentary Committee to explain were Permanent Secretary, Willet Hamilton, and his team.PAC is National Assembly’s body that has oversight on the Auditor General’s annual report and would examine flagged issues on these for improvements to the public accounts system.With issues of procurement and spending a huge one for the public which has become increasingly watchful of the treasury’s spending,Cheap Jerseys From China Online, PAC’s role has been a critical one.Back in 2011,China NBA Jerseys, the Ministry had only two vehicles and was forced to resort to hiring taxis. The issue has been coming up in recent years in the Auditor General’s report.The ministry managed to bring its taxi budget down to $7.9M in 2012 and just over $3.2M last year, after it acquired a number of vehicles.The Ministry’s officials said that hiring of taxi services was done in a transparent manner via a public tendering process.Member of Parliament, Manzoor Nadir,Cheap NFL Jerseys, who sits on the Government side of the Committee,Cheap Jerseys China, noted that the issue may be one of policy since by owning vehicles; there are factors of fuel, crashes, wages and a host of other things that needs to be taken into account. Nadir recommended that an analysis of the operational cost of the current vehicles may shed some light on whether it would be cheaper to use taxis.However,Cheap Jerseys From China, MP Keith Scott of the Opposition’s A Partnership For National Unity (APNU) was not convinced that paying almost $30M in the past three years was the way to go. He too wanted an analysis of the costs of the Ministry’s vehicles.In response to questions of APNU’s MP, Jaipaul Sharma, the Permanent Secretary disclosed that taxis are paid monthly, based on the charges they submit for payment.Members of PAC recommended that the Ministry consider renting vehicles or alternative arrangements.Meanwhile, concerns were expressed over a contract granted to Kares Engineering in 2011 for the construction of the western perimeter fence and palling of drains at the National Exhibition Centre to the tune of $10M.However, auditors found that despite almost all the monies being paid, the contractor had not completed the work.The Ministry is now looking at Kares completing the job before this year is out.The Permanent Secretary said that he has been monitoring the project and that full payment has been made to the consultant, Noel James,Wholesale Jerseys, who had been overseeing the project for the Ministry.Kares was said to be too busy in the last two years to complete the work.The PAC also wants the Ministry to hand over copies of letters that was issued to the contractor warning them of the need to complete the works and if necessary, for the actions to be contemplated for possible contract breach.