Maxi taxi dealers can anticipate getting overdue payments in the subsequent 3 weeks. The Maxi taxi operators, hired by the Education Ministry to ferry school children are owed a whole of $6,596,728.50, starting from March 25.
Wages owed to the dealers until November the past year were repaid. Reacting to a quick inquiry in the Senate on Thursday, Education Minister Anthony Garcia presented a breakdown of the funds owed to the dealers.
He stated that the figure showed residual payments for two fortnights in 2019 amounting to $628,508.79. This is together with 3-fortnight pay cases in 2020 as of February 14 of $5,967,559.71.
Further, he stated there have been no additional claims for cash.
Garcia guaranteed that the Ministry of Education is at the moment cooperating with the Ministry of Finance to get the required funds, which, barring unexpected circumstances is expected to be accessible in the next 3 weeks.
Reacting to a follow-up query from Opposition Senator Wade Mark, Garcia revealed the circumstances resulting in the arrears.
Garcia said that in the initial occurrence, proper care must be taken with respect to distributing Government funds. Minister Garcia stated that there is a deal between the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) and the Maxi taxi dealers that demand how applications are treated.
Allegations initiated by the maxi taxi operators initially have to be confirmed by the PTSC. After that, it has to be sent to the Ministry of Education where it has to be examined once again.
He revealed that there was a legal obligation by the Ministry of Education to guarantee the claims were examined two times.
“When I questioned our Financial Department as to why there has to be this double-checking, I was informed that because of the Exchequer Act, it requires that the Permanent Secretaries before signing off, must ensure that all claims are verified. These are some of the issues that will result in an extended time for payment.”