Following reports that Government signed a multi million contract with PHC in 2008, Government moved to clarify the issue saying that the finances being distributed are solely dependent on the PHC facility being completed, while Opposition MP Dr Grant Gibbons said Parliament should have been informed at the time the agreement was signed.
Yesterday the RG reported that, “The Ministry of Education has agreed to pay PHC as much as $10 million, spread over a 20-year period, in usage fees for schools in the zone to use the club’s $4 million multi-dimensional complex.”
The statement in response from Government said, “This morning the Ministry of Education moved to ensure clarity regarding reports in yesterday’s and today’s Royal Gazette surrounding the Ministry’s financial commitment to Pembroke Hamilton Club (PHC).
“Regrettably the stories have caused some concern in the community. And the Ministry wishes to clarify that it is not committed to provide any funds to the PHC until such time that their facility is completed and public school students have access to it.
“The Ministry further advised that there was a contract signed in 2008 and the finances being distributed are solely dependent on a completed PHC facility.”
Opposition MP Dr Grant Gibbons questioned why the “significant commitment of taxpayer funds” was not disclosed by the Minister during Budget Debates in previous years, and said Parliament should have been informed when the agreement was signed.
Dr Gibbons said, “If as reported in the RG, the Ministry of Education signed a 20 year $10 million lease with PHC in 2008, then we have to ask why this significant commitment of taxpayer funds was not disclosed by the Minister during Budget Debates in the last few years?”
“A commitment of this magnitude would have a material impact on Ministry spending over a 20 year period and Parliament should have been informed, at the time the agreement was signed.
“The Minister needs to provide a full explanation, including details of the lease and any other commitments that Government may have given to PHC or related parties.
“How this matter has been handled and the apparent lack of disclosure to Parliament is yet another issue that the Public Accounts Committee may wish to review,” concluded Dr Gibbons.