Bus contract costs
Monday 21 May 2012
In response to questions from other media, the Environment Department would advise that regretfully, an article on today's front page of the Guernsey Press is inaccurate and totally misleading.
The Department has requested the Guernsey Press to print a conspicuous apology and retraction. The article contains a number of inaccuracies but two are key.
First, the article states that the bus contract figure "has been finally revealed", the implication being the Department has been withholding this figure. In fact the figure was put into the public domain in the first week of April (within days of the contract signing). In addition all media, including the Guernsey Press, were advised that the document containing the figure had been posted on the government website at that time. Indeed during the run up to the election various "blogs" including the "This is Guernsey" your shout column made reference to this figure. There has been no hiding in this respect and the Department has been proactive to get the £2.4 million contract cost figure into the public domain.
Second the article states the service now costs £100,000 more (than previously) and that the subsidy had previously been about £2.3 million and is now £2.4million. The Department believes the Press has mixed up its sources of information i.e. the Department's report stating the contract cost of £2.4million and the States accounts showing a previous subsidy figure of circa £2.3million. Unfortunately these titles "Contract Cost" and "Previous Subsidy" are not comparable. The fact is that the previous bus contract cost just over £2.5million in 2010 and 2011 and based on the first quarter of 2012 was on line to cost £2.6million for 2012. So actually the bus services are now costing between £100,000 and £200,000 less.
Steve Smith, Chief Officer