Tuesday, October 9, 2012

iGovtTT chairman under fire for big spending on taxis

Attiba Phillips
A report in the TRINIDAD EXPRESS Tuesday said the chairman of iGovTT, Attiba Phillips, is under fire for unapproved spending in excess of $69,000. 

The report members of the board that Phillips heads has raised the issue with the line minister Dr Rupert Griffith and have asked for an investigation to determine if there has been any wrongdoing or abuse of taxpayers' funds.

The paper said directors met with Griffith last month and expressed a lack of confidence in the chairman's "ability and judgment to lead the board of the State-subsidised company".
Phillips is  the son of former government minister Daphne Phillips. The paper said he defended his spending as "legitimate". Some of the expenses is for tax fares, which is some cases exceeded one thousand dollars.

The Express said Phillips spent $23,835.50 in 40 taxi transactions over a 19-month period, citing the company's income and expenditure audit. This is addition to the chairman's travelling allowance, which is $1,000 a month. The Express said at least seven of the taxi trips cost more than $1,000. It gave some examples:
  • A trip from Lord Harris Court to Penal, which included an hour-long wait by the taxi - $1,197 
  • A ride from his Carenage home to Siparia - $1,575. 
  • A return road trip from his home to Mid Centre Mall in Chaguanas - $1,335
  • A trip from his home to Diego Martin - $1,222
The Express said it spoke with Griffith about the matter who said it would be "premature for him to say anything" until he had all the facts before him.

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