Disturbing $2-MILLION phone bill at government agency

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Government agency Aeronautical Telecommunications Limited (AEROTEL) has accumulated a phone bill of almost $2 million and is unlikely to recover the amount. The company reportedly racked up a bill of $1.9 million over 23 months.

The issue was raised at Tuesday morning's sitting of Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Howard Armstrong, General Manager of AEROTEL, explained that the Closed User Group (CUG) phone was not returned to the company after a former chairman, Maurice Henry, left the job at the start of 2012.

He admitted that the phone was not disconnected until 23 months later when roaming bills were generated from as far as the Phillipines. Mr Armstrong said the matter was taken through civil court to recover the funds but the former chairman has been reported as destitute.

PAC member Morais Guy, who said he was disappointed that the matter took 23 months to come to light, called for someone at Areotel to be penalised for the "gross oversight".