Santucci: “Not Engaged By Transport Department”

August 5, 2011

[Updated] The day after the Transport Minister told Bernews that Anthony Santucci was hired as a consultant for four months, Cabinet Secretary Donald Scott released a statement saying, “It is categorically untrue that Mr. Santucci has been engaged by the Ministry of Transport.”

Yesterday Minister Lister told Bernews via email that: “Mr. Santucci is to be a consultant for a period of four months assisting with legislative changes in the area of road safety. As everyone in Bermuda knows, he has been chair of CADA for a number of years and surely everyone would understand that he has expertise that will be of real benefit to the Ministry.”

The full statement from Donald Scott is below:

I note that there have been reports in the media of a consultancy to the Ministry of Transport.

One of my first acts as Cabinet Secretary was to establish an internal review committee to vet all applications to engage staff. The committee also reviews applications to hire consultants. No ministry or department is exempt from the process.

The Review Committee vets all requests and reviews the business case with a view to ensuring that the Government obtains value for money and that there is a defensible case to warrant the recruitment of staff or the hiring and retention of a consultant.

There is documentation associated with the process and without the necessary approvals; there is no authority for the Accountant General to make payment.

It is categorically untrue that Mr. Santucci has been engaged by the Ministry of Transport as there has not been a submission to the Review Committee.

Further, with the passage of the Good Governance Act 2011, there are now offences for non-compliance with Financial Instructions and other codes of practice in government administration.

It is unclear at this time why the Minister confirmed that Mr Santucci would be employed as a consultant, and less than 24 hours later the Cabinet Secretary releases a statement which appears to refute the Minister’s words.

We sent a screenshot of yesterday’s email from the Minister confirming Mr Santucci was hired as a consultant, and asked for clarification from Government. We will update as able.

Update 3:30pm: We have not yet received a response

Update 10:00pm: No response as of yet

Update August 6th, 7:00am: We never received a response. Minister Lister told ZBM the same thing, and on last night’s news they showed a photo of the message sent by Minister Lister to ZBM’s senior reporter Gary Moreno.

Update 8:00am: Acting Opposition Leader Trevor Moniz released a statement saying: “Mr. Terry Lister is a long-serving minister, so we have no reason to doubt his original statement, no matter what a senior civil servant says in damage control.”

“Mr. Lister’s statement provides insight into Government practices that have long raised concern and anger across the community. The hiring of Mr. Santucci – can anyone deny he was in line to become a Transport consultant? – smacks of cronyism.”

“We support the Government’s recent move to adopt some of our longstanding calls for better governance, but the Santucci controversy indicates just how difficult it will be to change self-serving attitudes that have hurt Bermuda.” Read his full statement here.

Update 9:10am: Premier Paula Cox released a statement saying: “Let me be clear. The dial has been re-set. The rules of engagement have been made transparent. Further, the division of responsibility between policy-setting and implementation of policy is also clearer.”

“Civil servants have charge of operating the machinery of government and it is appropriate that senior civil servants speak to process and procedure. The Secretary to the Cabinet did that in very clear terms. Mr. Santucci has not been engaged.” Read the full statement here.

Update 10:31am: Statement below from the UBP’s Charlie Swan:

We note with great interest Cabinet Secretary Donald Scott’s press release which poured cold water on the release that Anthony Santucci had been hired as a consultant by the Ministry of Transport.

Notwithstanding, the outcome, the now premature announcement by theTransportation Ministry to hire immediate past PLP Chairman Anthony Santucci as a road safety consultant to advise on road safety legislation is a surprising move that clearly puts political patronage in the picture.

We recognize Mr. Santucci’s efforts as the Chairman of CADA and his public pronouncements on behalf of road safety and anti-drunk driving campaigns and empathize with his personal job loss in recent weeks, but we are duty bound to question this move as it has more to do with political patronage than providing good legislation.

During this period of austerity and the need to do more with less – what is the justification for the Ministry of Transport hiring a consultant to prepare legislation for road safety?

The Ministry already has a Road Safety Officer on staff to handle such matters. It appears nonsense and makes a mockery of the difficult financial position the Bermuda government and our country finds itself in today.

What irony that the same Minister of Transport (Hon.Terry Lister) who last year blasted Premier Cox’s fiscal indiscipline in the lead up to the PLP leadership election contest with his “Its Bermuda’s turn” campaign heads up a Ministry acting fiscally irresponsible.

This decision is in stark contrast to that themem and smells of political cronyism. Furthermore, we may wish to excuse Minister Lister and his Permanent Secretary for missing the passage of the Good Governance Act or the implementation of new Financial Instructions by the Head of The Civil Service – they were after all attending the historic Space Shuttle launch. But so much for ‘joined up’government!

The scary thing is that the old mindset that caused the need for revised Good Governance legislation in 2011 continues today. In contrast to the PLP clamor from back in the day when they challenged that jobs went to the Old Boys Association – it now appears that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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Comments (161)

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  1. wondering says:

    easy way to cover up an obvious mistake?

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    • Cleancut says:

      It's no mistake, the cabinet secretary and the Premier are pulling out this red tape(review committee) in order to cover up their decision, Good one!

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      • Cleancut says:

        There is no way Minister Lister could have given this post to Santucci without the consent of Premier Cox.

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        • Cleancut says:

          Come on Minister Lister, be the first WHISTLE BLOWER!

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        • Rockfish#2 says:

          @ Cleancut,
          True--the spin doctors cannot change this FACT!

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    • Biggest Hypocrites says:

      Whatever OBA supporters, it is NOT as reported! move on - find another deadbeat report to beat to death, like the why don't we have more fresh 2% milk, even though we are willing to pay an arm and a leg for it

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      • Rockfish#2 says:

        @ Biggest Hypocrites,
        Is it possible for anyone else to start a dairy business to compete with Dunkley? If the answer is yes----go for it!

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        • poor service says:

          You missed the point, BH stated more fresh milk is needed? As you blindly support the Dunklyes

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          • Rockfish#1 says:

            poor service,
            I haven't missed the point at all. You have! If you and BH think more milk is needed here, why dont you prepare a sound business plan, and discuss it with your bankers. Who knows? you might put Dunkley out of business. Go for it!!

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  2. Dunno says:

    yet another glimpse of how unorganized this government is. please please please hold an election soon. Very tempted to take my educated and qualified bermudian self and leave this island until things change...not what i want but i cant stand having children (not all of you, but most) run this county.

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    • BdaOasis says:

      Ummmm....ya I will agree with you on that! It's painful to watch the garbage that is going on within this Government.

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    • Vote for Me says:

      @ Dunno
      We must all remain and right the ship we call Bermuda. After all this is the only place we can call home... for us, our children etc etc

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    • longtail says:

      Same old..... the more things change the more they remain the same.

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  3. Bedhead says:

    What's goin' on?

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    • BermyGirl says:

      LOL! Don't ask the "Goverment" - clueless!

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  4. Real Talk says:

    Terry Lister must be getting REALLY TIRED of being made to look like an idiot.

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    • Ambassador .. says:

      I hear that, poor guy.. but he is the minister and everything must be put on him, good or bad.

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    • YES MATE! says:

      Both Terrys make themselves look like idiots.

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  5. Terry says:

    Someone is either ill informed or lying. Bernews has the evidence as stated.

    This is a complete F... up. Ministers do one thing, Secretaries do another.

    No wonder the slide gets slippery. This is the time for PATI.....People Against Transport Incompitance.....
    I need a double............Yes Mate...........................

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  6. Vote for Me says:

    This is an interesting and dramatic demonstration of the Permier's committment to good governance. The appointment and 'non appoinment of Mr. Santucci' will cause some obvious embarassment to PLP and the government. Notwitstadnign,they have insisted on making the public fully aware of the application of teh appropriate policies and the fact that in this circumstance they were not followed. Kudos to Permier Cox for taking such a principled stance.

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    • haha says:

      Agreed! While i can understand peoples' irritation and confusion...obviously the Premier has corrected any wrongdoing in the situation and has taken the appropriate stance.

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      • Not OK says:

        Ermmm it was a Civil Servant Donald Scott. Cox has steered clear of this. no mention of her name anywhere???

        Conclusions to draw...

        PLP trying to Discredit Lister
        Lister discrediting Lister
        PLP tried to sneak something through, got caught, Lister announced.

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        • Not OK says:

          Not an exhaustive list. Could simply be a communication error and completely unintentioanl of course.

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        • haha says:

          You obviously dont know that the Cabinet Secretary Donald Scott reports directly to the Premier.

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          • Young Observer says:

            he reports to the premier as Cabinet Secretard but he isnt under her control when in comes to head of the civil service.
            remember when the last premier tried to force out the last Head of the Civil Service. Civil Service jobs are not affected by the whims of government.

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            • haha says:

              No one said she controlled him. But if someone in the civil service is acting against policy it is his place to resolve the situation not the Premier.

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              • Young Observer says:

                what i took issue with here was you saying that "obviously the Premier has corrected any wrongdoing" and im saying that that is not necessarily the case. Donald Scott has taken controlof the situation doesnt mean the Premier has.

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                • Vote for Me says:

                  @ Young Observer
                  I think references to having 'control' over him are probably too strong. But if you consider the context of a Civil Servant causing emabarassment to a Minister with what is effectively a public rebuke, it is likely that the Premier would have been advised. Thus this is a good example of showing how the Premier's emphasis on Good Governance is having a positive impact on how teh Civil Service will operate in the future.

                  By extension, this 'situation' also sets a very solid precedence for any other intentional or unintentional breaches of protocols or Financial Instructions.

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      • rob says:

        She read the 74 comments chastising her and the PLP for considering / announcing such a move..

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        • Vote for Me says:

          @ Rob
          If we look at governance and protocols, Mr. Scott is correct. All appointments are completed by the Civil Servants. Thus he is the appropriate person to respond as Cabinet Secretary (the most senior Civil servant). Again, this speaks to good governance.

          No matter what has transpired a public correction has been offered. We should also note Mr. Scott's comments with reference to the Good Governance Act 2011, the fact the Accountant General has no authority to make payment without proper documentation and offences for contravention of Financial Instructions (which govern the financial administration of government).

          Once again, many may criticise the Premier but this situation shows that the intended processes and mechanisms for correction are working effectively.

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          • rob says:

            Simply Tongue in Cheek Vote Seeker..

            Having said that, do you really believe that the public condemnation played no part? Really!! Really?

            Got a condo in Bermuda to sell ya!!

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            • Vote for Me says:

              @ Rob
              I still hope that this was all a genuine mistake that was made. Either way, I would expect the Permier to be sensitive to public sentiment. If not we would accuse her of being uncaring.

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      • Rockfish#1and #2 says:

        Agreed!

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      • 32n64w says:

        If the Premier was truly/honestly interested in correcting prior wrongdoings she would fund the BPS and/or Auditor General with sufficient resources to engage overseas forensic accountants to work with an internal task-force to review where the last few hundred million dollars of taxpayer funds went cause I don't see that many new roads, bridges or buildings to support a debt burden of $1.2 billion.

        With an election soon coming the Good Governance Act 2011 is nothing but window dressing in an attempt to correct admitted (but not/never investigated) past PLP wrongs which is sadly ironic considering the Minister of Finance is still one and the same.

        PLP: doing less with more (taxpayer funds)

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        • Vote for Me says:

          @ 34n64w
          The issue of the $1.2b debt occassionally arises in the context of missing funds. The annual allocation of funds is included in the annual budget estimates. Each year includes the budget for the current year plus actuals for the prior year. The annual audited accounts provide the standard report on the accounts.

          I think many residents are intentionally or intentionally misunderstanding the Bermuda process for documenting how funds are raised and spent by Government.

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          • sandgrownan says:

            I don't think the funds are neccessarily missing, I think the point was that $800m was unaudited or received a "qualified audit" (in the real world would lead ot the dismisal of a CFO, but I digress...) - i.e. proper checks and balances didn't exist hence the possibility of fraud is high...there's no way of knowing if all that was spent on the dockyard pior or TCD (to use two obvious examples) was actually spent on the project or ended up elsehwere. The budget statements are almost meaningless without verification.

            Look at the BHC "scandal"...

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            • Vote for Me says:

              @ Sandgrownan
              We agree. There is a difference between unaudited and missing. You are correct that a lack of controls increases teh temptation and opportunity for things to go wrong. Note that that in the government context, all payments are via check or direct deposit. Thus all payments can be traced. The only person authorised to disburse funds from the Consolidated Fund is the Accountant General or designated staff.

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              • sandgrownan says:

                Ah, but that's not the point.

                Let's say I'm building a square building for, let's say, TCD. It's pretty simple, essentially 4 walls and a roof plus some fitting out. I tell you it's going to cost $5 million. It's approved. Bingo.

                I come back and tell you that due to "unforseen costs and scope changes" it's now $15 million. You go..."er OK" and it's approved. The bill is paid and we're all happy. The correct signoffs were gained by the Accountant General. But the problem is, who investigates to see if i really did $15 million of work? Perhaps I give some back to those that authorised the invoice or scope creep as a favour for helping me win the contract in hte first place.

                We agree, the funds are necessarily missing, just that the audit process isn't followed or is flawed.

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                • Vote for Me says:

                  OK
                  Lets say you were going to build a simple building at $5m. Several years go by and the costs have some natural increases (as all costs do over time). It is then agreed that you will need to build 3 buildings - east, west and central and the revised cost including fitting out is now $14m which gets approval.

                  The buildings are then built at a final cost of $15m - over budget by $1m. I am not happy but I do not accuse you of stealing $10m. If there is some criticism of the $1m overrun, I have to accept it because there is reason to be concerned.

                  The best way for me to see if you did $15m worth of work is to get an indpendent professional (quantity surveyor for example) to assess the value and quantity of work that was done. We can then figure out responsibility for the real cost overuns. Whilst I may not accuse you of stealing, I will want a proper explanation.

                  To completely trace where all funds were ultimately paid, I would need to have tha authority to come and look at your accounting information. You may agree to access in the heat of emotion but you have to realise that if I have the power to come into your company and look at your records, I will have the same authority for every other company and they may not be happy with granting me such authority or access.

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                  • sandgrownan says:

                    It seems you might think $5m is reasonable for shed.

                    The fundamental issue you miss here, of course, in our little game, is that's it's our money. Yours and mine.

                    ASo cute reply but meanwhile these f**kers are playing fast and loose with the chequebook, Bermuda suffers and will continue to suffer for a very long time. What's your solution for getting us out og $1bn of debt? I have mine, but you know what, I'm keeping it to myself until I get elected.

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                  • Renaissance Man says:

                    All government contracts are supposed to be conducted under the AIA conditions of contract. ALL changes to contracts are supposed to be vetted before approval, and signed off by the contractor and the client. Amended drawings and specifications are to accompany these changes.

                    A contract price is a contract price, and there is always supposed to be justification for those changes.

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              • 32n64w says:

                But the AG's office doesn't negotiate (no-bid) contracts a la Dockyard Pier, TCD, etc.?

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                • sandgrownan says:

                  Exactly that's the point, by the times the cheques are signed it's too late...

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      • Get Real says:

        I know Donald Scott, and know him to be a principled man of integrity. He is not a man that can be coerced into doing or saying anything that is improper or wrong.. I honestly believe we can rely on his statements.

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    • PAS says:

      Actually, the opposite is true here. Lister reports to Cox. She said/did nothing so we assumed she approved of this business as usual. Scott, a Civil Servant, put a stop to this nonsense.

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      • Rockfish#1and #2 says:

        It is true that Lister reports to Cox. However,did anyone really believe Paula would get her hands dirty. She should now call a press conference(with the disgraced Lister) and explain this stupidity to the public.

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      • Seriously says:

        You can't be serious? Can you not read?

        Whatever intentions Terry Lister had of Hiring a consultant, it is clear the powers that be put a stop to it.

        Lister clearly erred as there is a process in place for hiring consultants which was never followed, therefore this is much ado about nothing (except Lister's stupidity).

        I am however bothered that he thinks that he could justify such a move.

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        • Rockfish#1and #2 says:

          It is unlikely that Lister simply picked up the phone and called Santucci to offer him a job without discussing it with someone else first. Who agreed to the length of the contract? Who agreed with the renumeration? Was this discussed at Cabinet level? Looks like he was thrown under the bus----AGAIN!!

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          • haha says:

            Or perhaps Mr. Lister acted outside of his authority and the Cabinet office upon hearing about it on the news has intervened.

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          • Vote for Me says:

            @ Rockfish
            Let's consider the possibility of a genuine mistake. The public risks seem too high for Min Lister to have flagrantly violated protocols related to hiring consultants.

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            • YES MATE! says:

              The Pee el Pee specialize in blatant public risks!

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            • Rockfish#1 says:

              It is patently obvious that you are unfamiliar with the many utterances from Lister,(town hall meetings) especially when he was challenging Cox for the leadership.
              One thing is certain, he will not challenge her again!!

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              • Rockfish#1 says:

                The above is meant for Vote for Me.

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                • Vote for Me says:

                  @ Rockfish #1
                  I am familiar with some of the Ministers statements. My point is that it is unlikely that he would knowingly take a public position that is contrary to the Premier. The political risk for him would be too great.

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                  • Rockfish#1 says:

                    It's time to hear from Lister, he owes it to Bermuda in general and his constituents in particular. The spin doctors have run their course.

                    BTW--When he challenged Cox for the leadership, he took several positions that were contrary to hers. Who knows, he may be considering challenging her again!

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          • Rockfish#1 says:

            typo----remuneration

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      • haha says:

        Are u serious?

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        • Young Observer says:

          quite serious. Civil Servants do not report to the Premier.

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          • Vote for Me says:

            @ Young Observer
            You are technically correct. But from a practical perspective, the Cabinet Secretary and Premier do have to be in synch from a policy perspective since that is how the Cabinet Secretary gets direction.

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  7. Bedhead says:

    )-:
    (0:
    If Bermuda wasn't becoming such a tragedy this would actually be a comedy!

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  8. Terry says:

    Wonder if he will sue. I mean he was appointed right? Lost wages.........

    Like watching Three and a Half Cabinets Ministers............BERTA!!!!!!!!!!

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  9. T. Joad says:

    Bernews is clearly the only entity invloved in this story with the proper levels of accountability. 'Hey, here's your screen-shot... you're very welcome. Now get back to us and clarify who is worng here'.

    I also like 'The Donald' showing some leadership on this one and indirectly challenging Terry Lister. However, public passive-aggresion within the same party is just silly but it sounds - at this early stage - that Lister circumvented protocal and if a public spanking prevents him doinf so again then so be it. we'll see this dance ends - perhaps Lister will be earring shopping with the Colonel next week.

    Bernews - well done so far.

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    • Vote for Me says:

      @ T. Joad
      Kudos to Bernews as a real time news medium. I also applaud their timely responses. My only concern for Bermews is the occasional profane posts and the level of personal and vicious attacks that they sometimes allow. They may be inadvertently opening themselves up to a complaint via the new media council.

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      • LOL (original) says:

        Bernews you may become part of the "Combined Opposition" see the above post. Guess that was a warning shot.

        LOL you must by on the right track...................

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        • Vote for Me says:

          @ LOL (original)
          Not at all. Bernews tend not to editorialise, they only post what is supplied and genrally without comment. I commend Bernews for the role they play in Bermuda. In many ways they represent legitimate competition to the Royal Gazette.

          My point is that children have access to the posts and the profane posts are unnecessary. In addition we should encourage positive debate. Therefore if you disagree with my post, criticise what I post - don't resort to calling me an idiot, stupid, dumb etc etc. Such comments do not really contribute to constructive debate.

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      • rob says:

        Join a church Boss..

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  10. Point Boi says:

    Lister takin licks again? Kicked out of cabinet for standing up. Then returned to cabinet only to be 'subdued' by the rebel bus drivers with assistance from his cabinet colleagues. Now he finally toes the line and agrees to a suggestion to support the faithful....and he still gets his azz lit up! Terry please follow Dale and get tha f*&k out while you're still got some honor and respect to your name

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    • Terry says:

      Right on Point Bouy.....Time for det by to chak heeze beeljuz cause the list is filling his exhaust and you know what that means.

      A great day to all and may the consultants be with you.........

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  11. LaQuita says:

    Wow, just pathetic. This is the quality of your elected government?

    It's like watching a bunch of monkeys flinging their pooh at each other.

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    • A. Trask says:

      So an unemployed food and beverage guy [who can't hold a job] has been erroneously appointed to consult the government on transport? No he hasnt. yes he has. huh?

      My dad once told me not to urinate into the wind. perhaps we can get him to consult government on environmental protection issues.

      Worse than this attempt at cronyism is the public scramble the PLP find themselves in. They are divided on this issue - until the Premier speaks out and puts it to bed. Hasnt happended yet, hence the public division between a minister and cabinet. Can we again ask for focus on economy, crime and democracy? This news story is comical [fired chef to consult transport - very funny] but sugggests deeper issues with the PLP - which is troubling.

      Bernews - any update???

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      • bernews says:

        No update yet no, if we get anything we will post it asap.

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  12. 32n64w says:

    The evening news also covered this story last night and reported that sources in TCD confirmed Santucci was expected to be engaged as a consultant. Something stinky is certainly going on.

    The sad thing is the public have so much distrust for the PLP given their abysmal record of self-dealing, back-door deals and over spends that no one is surprised anymore (more so disgusted) when the PLP are found with their hands in the taxpayers cookie jar (again).

    If with "the passage of the Good Governance Act 2011, there are now offences for non-compliance with Financial Instructions and other codes of practice in government administration" can offenders not be prosecuted for prior year's non-compliance?

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    • LOL (original) says:

      Only if they can prosecute back to the days of the Sea Venture after all the UBP did it too.........................

      LOL with sarcasm

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      • Scott says:

        lol ubp wasnt around in the days of sea venture. I think you're mixing up the general english settlers of bermuda vs the party of the last 50 years or so.

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      • B, a Lady says:

        This argument does not hold water anymore. Remember your parents telling you not to follow everyone else and instead do the right thing? The PLP squandered an opportunity to NOT be like the UBP. To keep saying " the UBP did it" makes the PLP and it's supporters still look like immature followers, not leaders! You have to come up with a better excuse than saying "the white man did it", the very white man you hate so much. Now you want to hide behind him like a snivelling child saying " he did it too". Act like you have some intelligence and integrity ( like Wade, Brown-Evans, Cox, Thomas) and swim against the tide for the sake of what is good, and right.

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        • Vote for Me says:

          @ B, a Lady
          Agreed. The best way to victory os a good offense. We look to the PLP providing a consistent offence that is not tied to the historic UBP positions.

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          • Pastor Syl says:

            If anybody says to me one more time "Well, they did it!" umma want to go Pond on them!
            If we wanted more of the same, we would have kept them. The PLP was elected because we wanted something different, something worker oriented (which doesn't necessarily mean Union oriented), where the underserved were finally served appropriately, where we got the straight story, where we could trust our government to do what was right, where there was justice for all, etc.
            Mose Allen, Rio Richardson, et al, are surely dizzy from turning in their graves.
            sorry this is off topic, but I had to do it ;-)

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            • LaVerne Furbert says:

              So Pastor Syl, you're telling us that you voted for the PLP in the last election? Maybe you will to tell us how else you have assisted in ensuring that the "undesrved were served appropriately". I'm sure that there are others who are "surely dizzy from turning in their graves" today. I need not mention names.

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              • YES MATE! says:

                "The UBP did it too?"
                When did the UBP put us $1.2 billion in debt? I know that there was some shady goings on but seriously when did the UBP ever do us as hard as the PLP has been for the past 10+ years?

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              • sandgrownan says:

                zzzzzzzz......go back to sleep

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              • star man says:

                LaVerne, it's under-served, not undeserved. Freudian slip? lol

                "tell us how else you have assisted in ensuring that the “undesrved were served appropriately?" we pay our taxes, that's government's responsibility.

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              • Pastor Syl says:

                @ LaVerne: I have voted PLP ever since I could vote, except for when I was off island, because we didn't have absentee voting. Do we have it yet??
                I don't know if I would vote PLP again, though. I have not been impressed over the last few years: the divisiveness (in which you personally play a major part); the Government's cutbacks on funding for agencies that serve our most vulnerable (children, women, the chemically dependent, the homeless) at a time when they most need assistance while refusing to take pay cuts themselves; the aura (deserved or not) of sleaziness and malfeasance that hangs over capital projects; the appalling debt; the willingness to overturn environmental safeguards to the detriment of open space and protected reserves - to name the most disturbing.

                My work with the chemically dependent and women is a matter of public record. I stand boldly for human rights, and although I am no longer employed as a helping professional, I still counsel those who seek.

                I won't go back down the path of "those who are dizzy from turning in their graves". You may be sure I have not forgotten though I have forgiven.

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                • Pastor Syl says:

                  @ LaVerne: I need to make a correction. The first year Stuart Hayward ran, I voted for him. I was not on the island the second time he ran, but I would have voted for him again. In my eyes, he has integrity and he has the well being of this island, both people and environment, at heart. He has been a major influence for good here, and as I said in another post, it is a mark of our self hatred that so many think he has been and is being influenced by white people. Give the man his due credit. He's the one who has awakened most of the populace to environmental issues. People follow him, not the other way around.
                  Sorry. Not on topic.

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  13. Terry says:

    Well look at it this way. Someone is lying. Now when you see him at TCD handing out Peena Kolatus as you get tested you'll know it was a 'back-door'deal'................I need a double............

    You'l see....................................

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  14. C-King Clarity says:

    Perhaps this is another example of where the PLP Gumbymint had to 'deliberately deceive' everyone?

    Nah, couldn't be. Cog promised transparency and good governance. Must be something else...

    Poor 'ol Tony. Probably doesn't know who he's working for at this stage.

    Atleast the working/voting population of Bermuda aren't under any illusions - you're all working for the PLP Gumbymint. YAAAAY!

    Pass the Kool-Aide. It's hot and the voters are thirsty.

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  15. Jim Bean says:

    Here is what this says: Lister knows nothing about the Act to which scott referred.Lister is shamed. Any place else - lose his job. Pretty shameful that the civil servant is forced to issue a statement - why not the Premier herself?????? Again she ducks responsibility!

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    • haha says:

      the Cabinet Secretary deals with personnel issues thaat are related to the Civil Service. Not the Premier.

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      • Young Observer says:

        the premier appoints the ministers. as is often repeated the buck stops there.

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      • star man says:

        "the Cabinet Secretary deals with personnel issues that are related to the Civil Service. Not the Premier."

        Then why haven't we heard from Mr. Scott before? This is not the first time the cabinet has breached protocol.

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  16. (sigh) of relief says:

    could it be that the voice of public opinion made them change their minds? yesterday's comments on bernews spoke volumes of what people think of anthony santucci

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    • rob says:

      @ Sigh & Vote Seeker - Is this plausible? Could this be true? Do they ( PLP ) even look at the blogs? If they do, do they simply kick the banter to the curb without even a slight hint of concern?

      Is Feed Em Cake their new motto?

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      • Terry says:

        Vatz det Rob? PLP gotta bakery....jingus........

        Wonder who's in charge of 'icing'.........

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        • rob says:

          @ Monsieur Thierry

          That would be Marie Antoinette Cox...

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          • 80s Sonesta Kid says:

            now that is funnnnnnyyyyy good one M8

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      • Vote for Me says:

        @ Rob
        The government and PLP are clearly part of the community and must be aware of the comments on the blogs. I must admit surprise that very few posts on the other Santucci story were positive. The release by the Cabinet Secretary is clear evidence that the Party and government are aware of the comments on the blogs.

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      • (sigh) of relief says:

        not only do they read these, they also read other forums like biaw (remember when a biaw poster got in trouble for one of his comments?)

        no one is going to criticize them to their face - other than that poor guy who confronted zane and look what happened to him

        this is one of the best ways to find out the people on this island are truly thinking, and not only that, what is posted here will give those that don't post but just read the posts - fodder for thought and conversation (i've heard many a watercooler discussion about the comments posted on bernews)

        thank you bernews for allowing us to share our opinions anonymously

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    • Seriously says:

      Or the simple fact could have been that there is a process, and the process wasn't followed.

      The government has a lot of controls, and 99% of the times they work, just as they did today.

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      • haha says:

        very well said!

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      • ross says:

        Got to get use to this following the process process...surely you will indulge us folk that have become accustomed to the PLP doing just the opposite...

        Note: Many of those controls were in place during the Doctor / Cox regime and they were not followed 99% of the time..So again, this change in following the process, which was in many ways the process under the then / current Finance Minister, will take some getting use to..

        It's a process after all...

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      • sandgrownan says:

        When has process ever been a factor for this government? Seriously!

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        • ross says:

          @ Sand
          Not sure, ask Seriously...

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      • star man says:

        The government has a lot of controls, and 99% of the times they work, just as they did today.

        You're not serious, are you?

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  17. What is going on? says:

    What a joke.....it seems that this Government doesn't communicate very well..... no-one seems to know what is going on! How embarrassing for Minister Lister. When is this madness going to stop..... POOR BERMUDA!

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  18. The Architect says:

    Man the lifeboats! Cha. :\

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  19. 32n64w says:

    @ Vote for Me

    I didn't say the funds went "missing" I just want to know where they went as I don't see a commensurate or tangible improvement in infrastructure or lifestyle equating to a liability of $1.2B. The Government's track record of successive qualified audits for serious control weaknesses doesn't inspire confidence with the electorate who are (or at the very least should be) concerned about receiving proper value for their tax dollars.

    Bermuda experienced significant growth in IB over the last ten years (thanks to the sound legislative and economic foundation built by the UBP) and the PLP Government benefited generously with corresponding tax revenues in excess of $6B over the last 7 years but where did it all go and why do we now find ourselves in the hole for (at least) $1.2B (but likely more given the Government's always increasing overdraft facilities which will need to be financed somehow)?

    Presumably a large amount of this debt was incurred to cover current account shortfalls because of the massive increase in the size of Government and the PLP's inability to effectively and efficiently manage human and capital resources but a decent chunk would also have been used for improvements to our physical plant but for the life of me I don't see it.

    Clearly the current PLP administration recognises there were/are significant deficiencies with the prior leadership otherwise they wouldn't be fawning all over themselves re the Good Governance Act 2011.

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    • sandgrownan says:

      Exactly. Exactly. It was essentially vote buying on an industrial scale and poor management (maybe even theft).

      Vote for me, and I'll tell you how to clear $1 billion of debt overnight....

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    • Vote for Me says:

      @ 32 64
      The capital expenditures under PLP at least include fast ferries, Berkeley, Dockyard pier, TCD, new Court Building, Urgent Care facility at Southside and certain housing projects via BHC.

      Some of the existing debt also relates to current account deficits in the past 2 years related to the investment in social programs (bus fares, Bda College, day care, business concessions etc) that were necessary given the world economic climate. One benefit from the new Court Building is that there will be future reductions in rent expediture since government has consoldiated its rental spaces.

      I trust that this helps

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      • sandgrownan says:

        @ VFM - the problem with each of the items mentioned, is that they all suffered large cost overruns with little or no control and many had "no bid" contracts so there's no guarantee of any sort of value. Consequently, to use these as some sort of "excuse" or "explanation" for the national debt is disingenuous at best. The ferries can't even be maintaiend effectively!

        Additonally, the lack of transparency, accusations of fraud and backhanders plus the the arrest of the former auditor general creates an air of mistrust that characterises the PLP. This episode with Lister and Santucci is another example.

        Many of the social programs mentioned have already been stopped or cut back due to budget constraints, most of which are a direct result of rampant overspend without control by government. Notwithstanding repeated warnings "that this would happen", they merrily plowed on anyway. It's either willful ignorance or plain incompetance. And guess what, Paula Cox was at the centre of all of this.

        The PLP have exhibited fiscal imprudence of the highest order, and with declining tax revenue, have no way of getting us out of this hole. To blame the global financial crisis for all of this is insulting.

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      • Jim says:

        That doesn't even add up to $1.5 Billion....where's the other 4.5?

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      • Rockfish#1 says:

        @ Vote for Me
        While on the subject of the Court Building, who owns the nearby building which houses the Police High Command? Who benefits from the rents paid by Government? and what is the annual rental income?
        A transparent answer please!

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        • Vote for Me says:

          Not sure of all the answers but published reports indicate that the building is owned by a group that includes Mr. Arthur Hodgson. No secrets there - the amount being paid for rent will also be public knowledge since it must be included in the budget book.

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          • Rockfish#1 says:

            OK---you cannot be faulted for what you don't know. But there are many "secrets there", but I don't want to derail the primary topic.

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  20. Simply Confused says:

    It's obvious that Lister tried to circumvent the hiring policy in regards to this. Being in Government for so long its no way that he did not know the proceedure. However it makes me wonder if he can so boldly take this route and even announce that there was a hiring, if he has gotten away with doing it or something similar before? What other changes has he and his PS made down there without his party and our community knowing? What is his motive to being sneaky? To me something like this discredits all trust that was gained if any. What happens in the dark does come out into the light. Both Santucci and Lister need to be held accountable for their actions.

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    • PEPPER says:

      Terry is making so many bad decisions lately..I think his young bride is on his mind and not the people who he represents ..and what happened to santucci at grotto Bay ? THE premier needs to tell the people (if she knows)what the hell is going on.

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    • Simply Confused says:

      I think his "young bride" is a poor excuse for his actions. Santucci is not being held accountable for his actions in regards to him being let go from Grotto Bay nor any other situation he was involved in. I am sure the politicians know how could they not? Question is, why is it being covered up and protected. Its time to pay close attention to his Department and its operation. Its too much unrest with him and his surrounding cohorts.

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    • I'm just sayin says:

      Terry Lister makes up the rules as he goes along! The man is a nightmare!! He needs to be stripped of his Ministerial responsibilities. He speaks mistruths and dares people to challenge him! Someone needs to ask him as Minister of Transport when the cell phone law is gonna be in effect! It's his way or no way and frankly people are sick of him! The Premier needs to one her eyes and see what his agenda really is! That Ministry is out of control and getting worse. Mr. Santucci was hired as a consultant, on matters of which he ha no business being involved-!

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  21. Shut Yo Mouth... says:

    Nine times out of ten Mr. Blister get popped ... Lanced or Blanched...There's always an Anthony involved in any drama or disgrace ..look what happened to Caesar ..This whole affair stinks of effeminateness .

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  22. Makes me think....hmmmmm says:

    Let's see.....Santucci is fired from Grotto Bay, takes a leave from the ministry, and then POOF! He's retained as a "consultant" for a roads' safety council.

    And just what is his pay for this consultancy?

    What is going on the shadows with this man? No one is saying. But it can't be something clean. Compare to the sanitation worker recently fined -- and fired -- for an incident during his work shift, an incident for which the instigator suffered no consequences. Apparently if one takes an unwise action in the open it's the shaft, but if one's questionable conduct is conveniently hidden under a rock it's rewarded.

    hmmmmmmmmmmm

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  23. second says:

    when do we land?

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  24. Jim Bean says:

    hey vote for me - YOU ARE A PAID PLP BLOGGER - JUST LIKE SUNSHINE GIRL - IT IS OBVIOUS. please tell us the reason that santucci was fired....mmmmm. enquiring minds know - but for some reason bernews wont actually say!

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    • Rockfish#1 says:

      Jim Bean,

      My sentiments exactly. He/she is certainly singing for their supper. But to be fair he/she makes a few valid points.
      As far as Bernews is concerned, I don't know what they know or don't know. However, they would be well advised to steer clear of Santucci's private life, at least for the time being!

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    • Vote for Me says:

      @ Jim Bean
      I am not a paid blogger - just a concerned voter who likes to be ojective and speak from facts. Guess what - I have absolutely no idea what happened with Santucci and Grotto Bay.

      I actually wish Bermews would require all of us to use our real names.

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      • Rob says:

        I use my real name VFM, what's your first name? I am sure there are probably hundreds of people with the same first name as yours, but if they do find you and threaten the life of you and your family you can always pack it in, but without our comments that might lead to anarcy in our streets.

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  25. match-me-if-you-can says:

    Someone is tellin' us stories again? Don't they know Santa will be here in a few months & there might be an election before hand too. So the Gumment have to tell the truth or other wise Premier Cox has gone back on her word and once again, it is "Business as usual"!

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  26. Choir Boy (Original) says:

    8pm no response yet? The B#STARDS!!!. The PLP screwing you once again. The Bermuda public willingly turning over and exposing their collective rectum to be raped up the a#s yet again by the PLP.

    What idiot would still vote for these a**holes in the upcoming election.

    Stay tuned guys. Cos there are people that STUPID!!!!!!!!!! My prediction is that these thieves will be voted in again.

    You stupid effing Bermudians are responsible for your own journey. You are not 'spashul'. Vote these a**holes in, thats what you get. WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!

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    • Vote for Me says:

      @ Choirboy
      Please try to post without profanity

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      • sandgrownan says:

        Fair enough, but i can totally understand the frustration. The electorate seem to have the collective IQ of contents of Spittal Pond. Their lack of critical thought is alarming.

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        • Vote for Me says:

          Come on sandgrownan - you cannot believe the electorate have the IQ of Spittal Pond and still expect them to vote responsibly!! Do you believe they had such a low IQ when they voted consistently for the UBP for 30+ years?

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          • sandgrownan says:

            Mmmmmmm...30+ years on minimal debt and prosperity....

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  27. YES MATE! says:

    The reason Santucci was fired is between himself and Grotto Bay so I seriously doubt that BN or any other news outlet will publicize it. The real question is why does a broke government continue to hire consultants that obviously aren't needed or wanted and why, if the PLP ministers and senators really care about you and me, don't they expose the wrong doers within their party and eject them? We all know there's some crooked bastards in the party so why don't they boot them out? Why don't we boot them out? I would really like for a PLP senator or MP to come on here and address our concerns and categorically deny any wrong doing by any PLP member drawing a government paycheque. Anyone?

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    • Vote for Me says:

      @ Yes Mate
      There are clearly a lot of allegations in the press - but that is all they are... allegations. The people that can carry out investigations about the allegations are the Auditor General, The Head of Internal Audit and the Police. Until they conclude that there has been wrong doing, we have to accept that we are all speaking of rumours. As one commercial used to say - whare's the beef?

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      • sandgrownan says:

        This would be the (office of) AG they have arrested when he gets close to the issues, then refuse to act on any recommendations? Right.

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        • Vote for Me says:

          We have to look at the present and future. As you have said in other posts, we canot continue to use the past to justify the present or future. The Auditor General has the responsibility and authority to investigate all financial matters related to the public accounts of the government.

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  28. Choir Boy (Original) says:

    Is he a highly paid Government worker or not?????? Come on you fricken Government people - let us know. Are you raping us up our behinds yet again or not ????????

    Come on - tell us !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    • Vote for Me says:

      @ Choir boy (original)
      Based on the published reports, he is not a paid consultant afterall.

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    • Preto Plato says:

      what part of "Not engaged by the Ministry" don't you understand?

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      • sandgrownan says:

        ah..out from under your rock...

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      • Choir Boy (Original) says:

        The part which tells me that our PLP Government lies lies lies. Problem is, most Bermudian are too stupid to realize and will vote them in again.

        Have a nice day

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  29. Emeka47 says:

    More consultants! Ok Mr. Santucci has been chairman of CADA for years. All of a sudden they need a consultant; for what? To me it appears he got a 'hand up' when he lost his job. So... he was out of work for a few weeks or a month, and was rewarded. Well, Senator Wilson, The Hon Premier, Mr. Horton, MP , I AM OUT OF WORK TOO, have been for 17 MONTHS!!! Filled out 70 applicatons from Management to Pot Washers....then I went to seek help from Social Assistence, for food or pay a belco bill and was turned down. They told me to return when I had under $2000 and when I returned I had $56. Then they said " we can't help you, the Premier made the cuts and you own a home" I explained that I live in a home, and it will be taken soon. I ran out of money and can't pay my mortgage' She said 'Sorry". She took the paperwork back. Not one penny was handed to me. I have worked 47 years in this Country, only taken time off to birth my children. I made a sizable down payment on my home and then was made redundant in April 2010. I can't get work yet Mr. Santucci will get a monthly salary from money I put into the Governments purse. I am not looking for sympathy, my story is not unlike many others who are struggling in BERMUDA. Since there is some money stashed away in an Unemployment Fund, maybe Senator Wilson make it available to the unemployed Let me use the Premiers 'pet' word, Let me make it 'CLEAR" call the ELECTION I want to vote you all out!! I am appauled by this Government's arrogance.

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    • Emeka47 says:

      Sorry. I meant to type Mr. Lister, MP for TOurism, not Mr. Horton.

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      • Emeka47 says:

        Too early in the morning and still to annoyed correction again!!!! Mr. Lister, M.P. Minister for Transport.

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        • Vote for Me says:

          @ Emeka47
          I actually understand your position. For the first time. white collar workers are being displaced in Bermuda and we need to develop a collective solution. Please continue to press on and find new employment - as long as it is an honest living, go for it until you find something more suited to your skills and preferences. Whilst embarrassing, also make sure you register as an unemployed person.

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          • 80s Sonesta Kid says:

            @ VFM.....you r a piece of work! spoken like a true politician! LOL but Not even close to being funny.

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  30. Common Sense says:

    Have to admit I'm shocked at the thought that someone who worked in the hotel industry has been retained by Government (or so it appears from Minister Lister's statement) to advise on legislative matters referring to road safety. What legal qualifications does he have for this consultancy?

    The Review Committee seemed like a good idea and would clearly have required Government to fully justify both the need for this consultancy AND the qualifications of the person to be hired, but we wait patiently to ascertain why this process was not followed.

    As for Donald Scott's comment that with the passage of the Good Governance Act 2011, there are now offences for non-compliance with Financial Instructions and other codes of practice in government administration, I really don't have too much faith in Government actually obeying the law in this regard, just as I have very little faith in the BIU being required to follow the law as laid down in the Trade Union Act and submit their audited annual financial statement to the Registrar. Failure to do so is an offence committed by all the officers of the Union but what has been done in the past 12 years to ensure compliance? Nothing.

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  31. Triangle Drifter says:

    What a circus! You just cannot get a straight honest answer from this Government.

    In a mature democracy there would have been protests in the streets & this bunch of incompetent jokers would have been thrown out a long long time ago.

    But...this IS Bermuda &, as the song goes, Bermuda is another world. Bermuda must have the dumbest electorate in the world to keep voting the PLP in & then wonder why everything is in such a mess.

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  32. W.T.F.??? says:

    The Lurking truth about Susan ???
    there's your answer!

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    • It is what it is says:

      What is the referemce to Susan anout?

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  33. Grace Bell says:

    In my opnion... the thing was contrived... lots great now that the Cabinet Sect'y has stepped in a called halt..'See our new system is working' @ Triangle Drifter .. you might be able to lable Bdns as the dumbest electorate in teh world after the next visit to the polls. A storm is brewing for sure... 3 terms - they got their chance, they squandered it... so now its time for Real Change..

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  34. Grace Bell says:

    Sorry for the typos.. looks great.. you can figure ti out.

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    • Rockfish#1 says:

      @ Grace Bell,
      You must be really "pissed off" judging by your latest attempt at journalism. Lol. English was one of you best subjects when you attended Purvis School.
      Next time I see you, if time permits, we could solve all the problems over a soft drink.

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      • 80s Sonesta Kid says:

        @ Rockfish..... I've enjoyed your posts up to this point....but you've really shown your ass with that last post.....ah ignorance inter-mixed with perceived intelligence = ex-pat cop

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        • Rockfish#1 says:

          80s Sonesta Kid,
          That is just a bit of light banter aimed at Grace Bell,(didn't you notice?) who I happen to know very well and respect. So why are you baring your fangs!!

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          • Rockfish#1 says:

            Your well thought out conclusions and "perceived intelligence" have failed you on this one. Not that it matters, but I am NOT an "ex-pat", NOR a"cop".

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  35. Lion says:

    For those of you who do not know it is not the Minister that would make the appointment. The Minister would engage his Permanent Secretary to carry out this task. If you want the truth ask the Permanent Secretary because she would know the full story on any meetings and decisions. She is the top Civil Servant in the Ministry of Transport who answers to the Head of the Civil Service. She know what happened, whether he was approached, hired or not. The Minister does not act without his Permanent Secretary.

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    • 80s Sonesta Kid says:

      Wait I know .....its Roxanne....oh mannnnnnnn now @ LION what would make you think the PS would stand up to Lister the tyrant! Everybody needs an paycheck to eat y'know

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  36. PEPPER says:

    Lord have mercy,it seems to me and others that to hire Santucci,, who was fired from most of his jobs,..and to think that the P.L.P. are going to put this looser on the payroll....

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  37. Shaking the Head says:

    All this raises an other question. The next time a Minister makes a statement, do we have to wait a few days to see if it is true? Do we have to wait to know it has been agreed to by the Cabinet, agreed to by the Civil Service, passes all new Good Governance standards and The Premier is aware of the statement? Maybe all future statements by any Minister needs to have a signed off approval form attached, otherwise it will be treated as false until proven true.

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  38. Rumandcoke says:

    Can someone please tell us why he lost his job at Fairmont, Tuckers and Grotto Bay.

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  39. Bermudian in Mexico says:

    This guy will never win a popularity contest in Bermuda. This whole issue is such a circus.

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  40. Grace Bell says:

    @ Rockffish #1, I did apologise for the typos, you are right that English was one of my best subjects. Thanks for calling me and I take no offence to your post. I need to slow down and read over my comments before posting... typos happen. My comments about Change Being in the Air Stand.... Hail to Saving Bermuda.

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