THIS WEEK IN THE BAHAMAS BY ELCOTT COLEBY
Urban Renewal Co-Chair responds to Auditor General Report
Responding to the Auditor General’s report on the Small Homes Repair Program, viagra sales nurse Co-Chair of the Urban Renewal Commission Algernon Allen said that in respect of the 11 contractors cited for failing to complete their designated scope of works valued at over $170, sildenafil 000, “we’ve already taken them out (of the system) and there was a small number of them.
“We already weeded them out. We would pursue them into the depths of hell to collect the money that is designated for the poor.”
My own investigations revealed that six of the eleven contractors cited for incomplete work had completed their work to date and five are completing their work. This was confirmed in the media by Deputy Director of Urban Renewal Gregory Butler.
As for the report’s claim that the contract administration was not competitive, prescription Mr. Allen said this practice was not uncommon and because of the relatively small size of the contracts, all-risk insurance was not required. The Commission also refuted claims that contractors cleared down overgrown lots and were awarded contracts without proof of ministerial approval.
“The Deputy Prime Minister would have approved with the co-chairs, every single contract, whether it’s $10,000, $20,000 or $30,000. We have to go to the Ministry of Finance for approval. We don’t approve it ourselves” said Urban Renewal Permanent Secretary Diana Lightbourne. This is consistent with the provisions of the Financial Administration and Audit Act where the minister is legally authorized to approve contracts with a maximum value of $50,000, but beyond that amount, a competitive bidding process is required by law.
Suffice it to say, challenges with the professional conduct of contractors is not unique to the public sector. People in the private sector encounter very similar challenges, but the reward for excellence is “eternal vigilance.”
The audit report covered the period July 1, 2012 to September 30, 2014.
Parliamentary proceedings this week
The second reading and committal of the amended Juries Act to provide for electronic selection of a jury pool took place this week in Parliament as debate continued, but before the debate resumed, several statements were delivered both by the chair and Ministers.
The Honourable Speaker of the House Dr. Kendal Major began by confirming that he granted in principle the request by the Public Accounts Committee for a live airing of the contract administration surrounding BAMSI.
The Hon. Fred Mitchell, Foreign Affairs Minister updated the House on both the CARICOM-US Summit held in Kingston Jamaica on the 9th April 2015 and the OAS sponsored Summit of The Americas held in Panama City, Panama on Saturday, 10th April 2015. Mr. Mitchell characterized both meetings as successful and achieving the intended objectives. In Panama, the Prime Minister put the country’s immigration policy position front and center. The Prime Minister said that The Bahamas made no apology for its recent immigration measures and legislative amendment to protect the country’s borders and the identity of Bahamians. Mr. Christie urged all border-states to do their part in preventing irregular migration to and through The Bahamas.
He also advised the House that Bahamas Consul General to Atlanta had returned to Nassau for consultations.
Both Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Perry G. Christie and Deputy Prime Minister the Hon. Philip Brave Davis paid tribute Trinity Methodist Church on its 150th anniversary. The Prime Minister also congratulated The Bahamas’ CARIFTA swimming team for their successful defense of their 2014 title in Barbados over the Easter weekend.