$5.4 Million Paid In Travel Authorization Fees

July 3, 2021 | 11 Comments

Over $5.4 million has been raised by the Travel Authorization Form fees, and the company providing the website services has been paid over $500,000, the Government has confirmed.

This was stated following a Parliamentary Question in the House of Assembly, with Opposition MP  Michael Dunkley asking Minister of Health Kim Wilson for details about the Travel Authorization Form [TAF].

Audio extract of the Q&A about the matter:

The Parliamentary Questions follow below:

*1. Since the inception of the Travel Authorization Form [TAF] will the Honourable Minister please provide this Honourable House with the total amount of revenue collected every month up to June 30, 2021, as well as the monthly total of travellers [resident and visitors] submitting the required form and fee?

*2. Will the Honourable Minister please provide details of any and all fees paid out monthly to any vendors or consultants as part of any contracts or agreements in connection with the TAF, or any work associated as such, from the inception of the TAF until June 30, 2021?

*3. Will the Honourable Minister please provide the complete details, including the names, addresses, type of company, a description of the work or service provided and total compensation for any contracts with vendors or consultants associated with the TAF since its inception?

In a statement released last night, Shadow Minister of Health and National Security Michael Dunkley said, “In Parliament the One Bermuda Alliance received answers to questions asked regarding the Travel Authorization Form [TAF].

“The OBA strongly believes the TAF is no longer required. While we support protecting our borders, recent history has shown widespread concern in the community due to the challenges faced by countless travelers in completing the form.

“Now we have learned that over 85,000 forms have been completed since its inception in July of 2020, over $5.4 million has been raised by this fee, and paid by travelers to the government, and ResQwest, the vendor for the website, has been paid over $550,000 up until the end of April 2021.

“The people of Bermuda are asking, and we echo their sentiments: who is this TAF actually benefitting? The health of safety of the island or the coffers of friends of the Progressive Labour Party Government?

“During tough times this tax is another burden on many families. In addition, as we now know so much more about Covid, we contend the TAF has served its purpose. There are options to simplify and streamline entry requirements into the island, as other jurisdictions have done.

“The PLP need to listen to the concerns of the people we serve, free up and provide a more customer friendly system when traveling.” Mr Dunkley added.

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Comments (11)

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  1. itsnowonder says:

    I’ve always said this ridiculous TA is about the money. They really don’t give a rats azz about anything else.

  2. No Bermudian should fill out any Travel Authorization form to return to your own Country, the Government should be ashamed of itself and their needs to be a thorough investigation to who exactly is benefitting from this.

    The P.A.T.I. Public Access To Information needs to be used and do a tracing of all the Covid19 related issues where money has been made and find out by whom, The Premier say’s follow the Science, I say it’s time we follow The Money and you would be surprise who these critters are.

    P.L.P took a delight in accusing The U.B.P. for many years for doing exactly what they are now being accused of, my how the tables have turned, and if there is anything untoward, heads should roll.

  3. Dunn juice says:

    Are they adding that to the sugar tax..
    Well done voters

  4. The scary thing is, ” This Government ” more than likely thinks this is a huge income for the governments purse, when in fact it will only pay less than two weeks of interest only on the massive Bermuda debt they created!

    This small amount of income only and how its earned does more damage to the economy than they even realize because it only serves to make many visitors that perhaps would come to Bermuda stay away and avoid the hassle, and I know this because I am one of them!

  5. Triangle Drifter says:

    So, you pay a departure tax to leave & you pay an arrival tax to return.

    The TAF is nothing less than theft from travellers. Just WHERE does this money go? 70,000 returning passengers have paid $75 each for what & why?

    Of course this Government does not want to end the TAF any time soon. It is an easy cash cow where money gets siphoned off to who knows where.

    What is concerning is how many people accept this scheme as OK. Maybe because they have no travel plans right now they think that this money grab does not affect them.

    Remain quiet. This unjustified tax will remain as long as this Government can get away with it. Your turn for them to reach into your pocket will come.

  6. goldenplaypen says:

    This is now a social program to pay for the hordes of covid testing agents now employed at the airport, Perot Post office facility and testing lab. This is the only industry created under the current Government so this is here to stay no matter how much it deters visitors.

  7. Not Again says:

    Does anyone want to mention the ceo of this company is also paid as a government consultant. check the history.

  8. Joe Bloggs says:

    Stop politicking and keep quiet. Have you not yet learnt that the OBA is irrelevant?

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