For something that cost more that BD150 million, making
a profit revenues of just over BD5 million in the 2nd year of operation, racking up a loss of BD49 million representing 65% of your paid up capital while giving away BD1.2 million in free tickets must have quite a few warning fog horns blaring. Is anyone listening though? I sure hope so….
And if they are, the first thing that should be done is fire the whole board of directors with the top management and replace them with 6th form kids as I’m sure they won’t be able to screw such an investment up so much and then claim that, hey, this is really a cultural institution and we don’t have to make money! For God’s sake, I think the hardly-visited National Museum probably makes more money that the illustrious Formula One Circuit, and that is a cultural institution!
Quite sad really, but I’ve seen it go down the pipes for more than a year now and I am not at all surprised by what the Transparency Report has found out so far, yet I’m sure that there are quite a few other bits and pieces still hidden even from their view. The report cited quite a few irregularities at the circuit (that even a cultural institution is required to avoid):
- Non compliance with bid tendering regulations and awarding bids directly or single-sourcing without proper justification,
- Holding far too much spares, some unaccounted properly,
- Giving away tickets worth BD 1.2 million,
- Improper, imprecise and irregular financial reporting procedures,
- Not collecting on sales worth BD2.8 million since 2005,
- No connection between the sales and accounting systems,
- No discount strategy, discounts are given haphazardly
And I’m sure many other aspects… here are a few that could be added or at least answered honestly if they could:
- Why is the circuit still renting large screens from a German company rather than buying these things outright?
- Why does the circuit not properly tender the rental of these screens in an open manner?
- Why does the circuit still does not have very much required experienced broadcast engineers and an experienced broadcast manager to take care of their huge broadcast investments, rather than depending on someone with just PR experience to manage the whole infrastructure?
- Why aren’t the broadcast equipment even put on maintenance contracts with their supplier in order to prolong their useful lives and protect the investment?
- Why did the circuit allegedly buy some 30 Holden cars through single sourcing the bid from a person whose company was bankrupt?
I can spill a lot more beans about the circuit and how badly it is run, but the above should suffice for now; let’s see how they try to justify their existence now.
Full disclosure: my company supplied a number of the circuit’s broadcasting capabilities in 2004.