I’ve been very quiet recently because I have been very busy, which is a shame as there have been plenty of topics to blog about.
I’m still busy, but I cannot stay quiet any more. The red mist has descended – which means I’ll probably regret what I write here. So be it.
Let’s deal with Port Royal first. The Auditor General in a statement says: (The highlights are mine)
“The Special Report speaks of cost overruns, a lack of proper oversight and monitoring by the Government, loan financing authorized by the Minister of Finance without the approval of Parliament and a total disregard of established financial practices and controls for government expenditures – including the lack of tendering and conflicts of interest relating to Board members, one of whom was a Government Minister.
“Further, the Auditor General reports that she cannot conclude whether all the funds received by the Board of Trustees were used for the intended purposes or were fully accounted for due to inadequate accounting records.
“She notes that the “The Board of Trustees has not received a clean audit opinion on its financial statements since 1999. In fact, the Department of Internal Audit in its 2011 operational review of the Port Royal Golf Course noted numerous deficiencies in its internal controls”.
In the final analysis, the Auditor General reports that neither the Board of Trustees nor Government can confirm that value for money was achieved in this project nor can they confirm that taxpayer funds were effectively managed and protected.”
Absolutely damning. Complete disregard for the public purse, for due process, for transparency, for the people of Bermuda. Worse, this is by no means new. How many reports from the AG have there been that mirror what is said here? The PLP has a lot to answer for still.
Now the second story, the OBA walkout. If the allegations of what Mr Bean said are true, then the PLP needs to take action (IMO he is a political liability) But, politics-wise that is as far as it goes – there is no need for an OBA walkout which, frankly, makes them look very unstatesman-like.
My fellow blogger Jonathan Starling put it well in this post on the OBA FB page:
“Based on the published comments it’s not clear that Mr Bean has broken the law, unless there’s more to it. Was it disgusting? Sure. Should he be criticised? Sure. Should it lead to a wider discussion about sexism in Bermuda and our politics? Sure. Should his own MPs and members take him to task for it? Hopefully. Should the OBA walkout before the police have finished their investigation? No. Should the OBA address this issue via a motion for a joint select committee on MP’s conduct, etc? Quite possibly. Should the OBA get a move on with the right of recall legislation? Yes.”
I think, also, that this sets a terrible precedent for a Governing party. How can the OBA now complain if union members now walk out because they have grievances?
The alleged comments may have been vile, but regardless of the circumstances, the Government should take the moral high ground, it should set an example. It should not act like something from a playground.
It has only succeeded in making the walk-out the story ………. sigh.