SAN IGNACIO, Cayo District, Fri. Apr. 23, 2021– A recommendation has been issued by the government for a civil engineer of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Development and Housing (MIDH) who was driving a government vehicle that overturned, to be suspended without pay. This public officer, who reportedly breached the ministry’s internal vehicle-use policy, has been working with the Ministry of Housing Development for the past 11 years and was, at the time of the incident, heading back from an inspection of contracted works on the George Price Highway. The public officer now faces possible sanctions as a result of this breach.
The accident reportedly occurred while the engineer was returning from Belize City to Benque Viejo on Friday night, April 23. The public officer apparently lost control of the government-assigned vehicle along the George Price Highway and the vehicle collided into a culvert headwall. The vehicle subsequently flipped near the ITVET (CET) center in San Ignacio Town around 10:50 p.m. that night.
The Ministry of Infrastructure, Development and Housing concluded, after investigating the incident, that the officer failed to uphold the vehicle’s internal use policy. The ministry further expressed their intent to write to the Public Service Commission, recommending a suspension of the officer without pay. It will also submit a request that the officer be charged for damages to the government-issued vehicle.
In a recent release from the Government of Belize Press Office, the ministry explained that it is not unusual for officers to utilize government-issued vehicles during the night and on weekends. Many of the ministries’ technical officers are often on call at any given time to respond to road- related emergencies. As a result, these officers are frequently assigned vehicles to carry out their tasks.
The release further says, “The Ministry regrets the incident, but assures the public that the use and security of its vehicular and other equipment assets are of paramount importance to the Ministry and shall be managed and protected in compliance with the relevant Stores and Financial Orders.”