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Government cars off the road raises questions over waste

Ninety-two of Government’s vehicles were off the road for repairs at the same time, according to parliamentary responses provided by Senator Vince Ingham.

And One Bermuda Alliance Senator Michael Fahy said figures showing 237 cars were registered to Government between January 2008 and December 2011 were a further indication that taxpayers’ money was being wasted.

Government should switch to a car pool system so people can share vehicles and save cash, the Shadow Environment Minister told

The Royal Gazette.

He also criticised Ministers for setting a bad example by using their GP cars for personal errands like grocery shopping, while telling the rest of the country they have to do more with less.

Responding to Sen Fahy’s questions in the Upper Chamber, Sen Ingham listed 92 vehicles not in active use on February 1, because they needed repairing. This included 26 registered to the Parks transport pool and 36 registered to the Works and Engineering transport pool.

Government says more cars are out of use than normal because of current difficulties getting replacement parts.

Sen Fahy said: “That’s a huge number of cars that are not usable at the moment. Is that a success or failure of maintenance?”

Many out-of-use vehicles are said to be stored at the Government quarry.

Sen Fahy said: “We’re doing the Budget debate, but this kind of information helps us understand more about the liabilities of Government. Is this a good use of government money?”

The Opposition senator said of the total number of cars registered to Government: “It’s a whole lot of vehicles and a whole lot of money to run them.

“All we have ever said is that Ministers and the heads of the Civil Service need to lead by example. We think a car pool would be more effective.

“If a number of people are going to an event together, they could use one Government vehicle instead of each having their own vehicle. If it’s a short distance, they can walk.

“But we see the Ministers doing their grocery shopping in the GP cars. Talking about this is not petty politicking, it’s showing people how to lead by example.

“On the one hand they are telling us to cut back, on the other hand they are not doing it themselves.”

Sen Ingham’s responses also confirm the Premier has two cars, GP1 and 44168, while the 11 other members of Cabinet and eight permanent secretaries have one each. GP030 is a spare car for Ministers and permanent Secretaries.

Cabinet Secretary Donald Scott is among the permanent secretaries who don’t have a GP car, according to the information provided by Sen Ingham.

Responding to Sen Fahy’s comments, a Public Works spokesman said: “The Government does have a pool of ten cars that are managed by the Ministry of Public Works.

“Departments needing them call to make a request, with the vehicle reserved accordingly.

“The out of service is being managed by the team at the Government quarry who have been experiencing some challenges recently in procuring replacement parts to ensure the vehicle fleet is up to full strength.”

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Published March 26, 2012 at 9:54 am (Updated March 26, 2012 at 9:53 am)

Government cars off the road raises questions over waste

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