Today in The National Assembly (DNA), Minister Henry Ori of Education, Science, and Culture (Minowc) disclosed that the ministry’s school bus transportation system is a source of corruption. It’s a pretty delicate topic. This ministry’s officials and their families own school buses. The bus holders are informed that an inspection will be conducted before the inspectors arrive on the scene. Additionally, inspectors are compensated with “goodies” (bribes) for incorrect inspection reports. In response to queries from DNA members earlier in the evening during question time, Minister Ori remarked, “them is not fun for me to do these reports, and I am not proud of them.
Ori indicated that in the short time he has been a minister, he has received a problematic file of cases. “School bus transport costs the state SRD 34 million a month. There are 745 routes that are maintained. Business is done very inefficiently. There are very contradictory amounts submitted by bus holders and owners. The matter is politically very sensitive. Bus owners try to win as many routes for themselves as possible,” Ori noted.
The Education Minister also said that the service in the department is also quite low. “The service telephone is often not answered. Bus holders do not receive an answer or information they need. Further research is required in this area. With efficiency, the government can save a lot of money,” said the Minowc CEO. Ori also noted that the political party in charge of the ministry tries to accommodate its people as much as possible.
It was DNA member Mahinder Jogie (VHP/Saramacca) who previously asked what the procedure is to be eligible to drive school buses for Minowc. “You send a letter to the Deputy Director of Technical Services (ODTD) with the request to be considered for a trajectory or a specific trajectory that is specifically indicated. You must submit a number of documents, including the number certificate, inspection certificate, insurance certificate, driver card, photo of the bus from all sides with the number plate clearly visible, photos of the interior, etc. After this your document is given a number and the procedure continues. There must be clear transparency in the recruitment and selection of buses,” said Ori.