Government Admits Port Rules were Broken
In accusing the GSD of cherry picking the Principal Auditor’s report on the Gibraltar Port Authority for the financial year 31 March 2016, the Minister for the Port Vijay Daryanani has not only admitted the unauthorised scheme but goes on to display a shocking lack of understanding of the fact that the Principal Auditor has stated that the Port Authority had in effect partially failed in its financial duty.
Roy Clinton MP the GSD Shadow Minster for Public Finance stated the following:
“While I can understand Minister Daryanani’s knee jerk desire to defend his Ministry he seems to have completely missed the point raised by the Principal Auditor and the implications for public finance.
The point is simply that the scheme was ‘outside the provisions of the law’ and neither approved by Parliament nor thus in extension his Government. No individual within Government or any agency has the power to offer discounts not provided for in law, they are not running a private business.
If the Minister read the report further he would come across the following observation by the Principal Auditor:
‘I am gravely concerned at the loss of Government revenue resulting …particularly because the pilot scheme, although well intentioned, was ran over a protracted period of 30 months without there being any performance indicators or feedback from shipping agents to show that the initiative had generated additional economic activity in other sectors.’
Furthermore the then Deputy Captain of the Port ‘had always advised against the initiative’.
The role of the Principal Auditor is to ensure all matters relating to public finance are in accordance with the
law and in this case he has correctly brought this incident to the attention of Parliament.
The Government needs to take the Principal Auditor’s qualified report with the seriousness it deserves and accept the points raised. Furthermore the lateness of the tabling of the report before Parliament has not been addressed. If the Minister cannot understand any of this then he only reinforces my assertion that this Government does not know what the management of public finance is about. “