Govt Takes Control Of Corporation Finances

December 20, 2013

[Updated with video/speech/PLP response]

Citing maladministration, Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy announced today [Dec 20] that the Government will “temporarily assume stewardship of the Corporation of Hamilton financial administration.”

This is with immediate effect, and means that all financial matters are to be overseen and carried out only upon the authorisation of the Minister of Home Affairs. This includes tendering, accounts receivable, accounts payable, purchasing, and all other money management matters.

The Minister referenced numerous aspects in the recent report into the CoH issued by the Ombudsman for Bermuda Arlene Brock which said maladministration had permeated the Administration.

Ms Brock said the Request for Proposal [RFP] to award the 262 year lease for the Waterfront Development consisted entirely of a 4 inch by 6 inch advertisement.

“In such circumstances, observers cannot help but suspect that the rules were being created to ensure that a certain participant wins. Transparency, accountability and fairness do not seem to be the CoH’s strongest suits,” said Ms Brock.

Ms Brock had announced she would launch the investigation in March 2013, citing the “continuing controversy and apparent growing loss of confidence in the Corporation.”

Minister Fahy speaking at today’s press conference:

Minister Fahy also referenced the Corporation’s recent decision to pay themselves, saying “the Ministry is concerned about unauthorized payments to certain Members of the Corporation.”

The positions on the Corporation had always been done on an unpaid basis, however recently Corporation officials voted to remunerate themselves for attending board meetings, with five members voting for it, while three voted against.

The members agreed to be paid a sum of $375 per person for board meetings and a lower sum for Committee meetings. The payments were set to be retroactive, spanning back to May 10th 2013.

Earlier this week, injunctive relief proceedings were filed by the Ministry of Home Affairs with the Supreme Court regarding the matter of payments to certain members of the Corporation of Hamilton.

However during today’s press conference, the Minister said the payments have already been made, so the proceedings were withdrawn.

In May 2012, following a change in voting eligibility, Graeme Outerbridge was elected as the new Mayor of Hamilton, defeating incumbent Charles Gosling with 55.33% of the vote.

All of Mr Outerbridge’s fellow candidates in “Team Hamilton” were voted in, with the entire previous Corporation of Hamilton team ousted from power.

The press conference has just concluded, and we will update with the full statement and video as able.

Update 4.37pm: A copy of the Notice issued today by the Ministry of Home Affairs is here [PDF], and photo below. It was served on the Corporation at around 1pm today.

Fullscreen capture 12202013 44551 PM

Update 4.43pm: Minister Fahy’s full statement follows below

Good Afternoon:

The public and the media will be aware that the Ombudsman’s Own Motion Investigation into Governance at the Corporation of Hamilton, was tabled in the House of Assembly on Friday, 13th December, 2013.

It was an extensive and very detailed Report which illustrated among other things that the financial administration of the Corporation is in a poor state due to maladministration.

Additionally, the Report highlighted a number of good governance violations that are of grave concern to the Government; specifically:

  • Arbitrary decisions made without regard for the technical advice of staff;
  • Questionable expenditures;
  • $30,000 incurred costs for dismissal of the previous auditors without proper notice;
  • The initial refusal of some members to sign the June 2009 Code of Conduct;
  • Potential conflicts of interest;
  • Marked increase in retroactive and unsigned resolutions;
  • Unstructured meeting agendas;
  • Meetings held without the legal notice period (meetings called “at the drop of a hat”); and
  • City business being conducted in secret “Caucus” meetings.

In addition to the above findings, one of the more significant matters highlighted in the Report was the Waterfront Development project, wherein there were good governance failures with respect to the Request For Proposal “RFP”, process as well as the decision making process.

These actions were all called into question.

The Ombudsman has noted that all of the failures would constitute maladministration.

The public will also be aware that in addition to the findings contained in the Ombudsman’s Report, and in a more recent development, the Corporation has acted upon a Resolution to pay its elected officials on a retroactive basis.

This decision was taken notwithstanding previous legal advice in which the Corporation was made aware that the implementation of the Resolution would be considered ultra vires. The Government believes that this decision was unlawful.

Additionally, I can advise that around 1.00 p.m. today, pursuant to Section 7B(6) of the Municipalities Act 1923 (“the Act”), the Minister charged with responsibility for Municipalities under Section 61 of the Constitution, being the Minister of Home Affairs, as is authorized under Section 7B (6) of the Municipalities Act 1923, with the approval of Cabinet, served Notice on the Corporation of Hamilton advising that the Government via the Minister of Home Affairs, will temporarily assume stewardship of the Corporation’s financial administration and treasury functions, with immediate effect.

The Notice specified that “the Minister believes that, in accordance with section 7B (6) of the Act, it is in the public interest to temporarily assume stewardship of the financial administration and treasury services of the Corporation of Hamilton because the services of the Corporation are in a poor state due to maladministration as illustrated by the Report of the Ombudsman for Bermuda tabled in the Legislature”.

In addition, the Ministry is concerned about unauthorized payments to certain Members of the Corporation.

Essentially this action means that all financial matters are to be overseen and carried out only upon the authorization of the Minister of Home Affairs.

This includes tendering, accounts receivable, accounts payable, purchasing, and all other money management matters.

Corporation of Hamilton vendors should verify the originating authority for the purchase of any product or service, inclusive of legal services before providing them. This will avoid delayed payments or risk of non-payment.

It is regrettable that such an action was necessary however the Government has taken this action in the best interest of Bermuda.

-

Update 5.27pm: As you can see the video of the entire press conference is posted above. When asked how long they will assume stewardship, the Minister did not give a specific time frame.

Update 6.02pm: Acting PLP Leader Derrick Burgess said, “Today’s decision by the OBA raises serious questions about the viability of the Corporation of Hamilton going forward.

“To seize control of the city’s financial administration without benefit of a financial report or audit, throws a shadow over the motivations of the OBA.

“The ongoing saga between the OBA and the Corporation is benefiting no one and we hope that it will be resolved quickly.”

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Comments (117)

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  1. Gaylord says:

    Great news,the thought of Graeme,Donal and Carlton running the COH’s purse any longer,SCARY!

    • TGB says:

      How is this great news? Bermuda looks like a comic movie!

      Premier threatening MPs

      Ministers suspending constitutions.

      This is like a bad dream. I’m no fan of the PLP, but this last year of the OBA has me really yearning for a time when we didn’t have these crazy hijinks. I really think the OBA Cabinet are on a serious power trip, and don’t care who or what is in their way.

      As a lawyer, I don’t think this will stand up in court. Its hard to say that “financial administration” is in a poor state as the law is specific to services and infrastructure.

      • Bermuda Male says:

        You must be the COH’s lawyer.

        What is your views on the Ombudsman’s report? Should we allow such impropriety and maladministration to continue unabated?

        Threatening MPs? Please. Not one of you guys slated Marc Bean for his so called Throne Speech reply. But the threat of unveiling corrupt practices is just wrong?

      • Truth (Original) says:

        Its frightening that a lawyer wouldn’t see the necessity for this action and applaud the OBA for having the courage to take the steps.

        Your memory is terribly short. Do you not remember all of the nepotism under the previous Govt? The “unethical but not illegal” actions? The friends and family plan and last but not least THE FINANCIAL HOLE WE ARE STILL IN AS A DIRECT RESULT OF “ALL THESE CRAZY HIJINKS”.

        Sheesh.

      • I have to agree with TGB because the bigger picture is what is this government afraid of and I know you will have the likes of others talking from their dairy air, but if the corporation in so bad of a fix why hasn’t the voters of the city of Hamilton come out before now and demand that these folk be removed.

        I truly think that this is the same approach that was taken by the former premier Dr. Ewart Brown and maybe I am wrong but I am willing to stick my neck out there on the chopping block, because the administration that is in power is no different and have no different approach then Dr. Brown, if the truth be told this is where I say that now the past comes back to haunt the P.L.P, because there was many things done during Dr. Browns time in office that left a bad taste in peoples mouth, but for what ever reason folk was not bold enough to kick him out of power, and that became almost like a power struggle within itself, so things progressively got worst when folk where not standing up to a man who needed to go

        So now the O.B.A seems to be using the same tactics that Dr. Brown seemingly used and folk I must say it looks like its working, so stop with all the yada yada and do something about it, if the corporation has any conduct that is fraudulent let it be brought before the courts and if found guilty then those charge will have to pay the price and if they are not found guilty leave them to get on with the business of doing what they have been placed there to do.

        I thought Dr.Brown was heading us in the direction of dictatorship but these jokers seem like they want to get there faster, or maybe I am asleep and don’t realize that there is a plan to take the majority of us back to the plantation and plantation thinking, yada yada yada, snoozeeeeeeeeee.

        • jt says:

          Your on a tear today – with all your posts combined I’m not sure I’ve been able to make sense of more than a couple sentences.

          • Wow I am truly sorry I have been stocking up on my drinks since Sunday sales for liquor is legal now, so I have done my best to stay drunk and sound stupid, so that I can follow that old proverb my dad taught me,

            Him said being crazy means I don’t have to explain a damn thing I do or say, him was wise and I think I am to drunk to even know what that means at this point, but who cares. drink up lets me mary, oops let me get dat right and say lets be merry before som von dinks um gone funny again bye.

            Passa um a gonna try an go church on sunday an virk dis ding out bye cause it feels like i might be crossing o ba, dat is O.B.A for some folk

        • Come on says:

          Nobody wants to read your essays. Get real and learn to communicate appropriately.

          So OBA gets blasted if they don’t do anything, and blasted if they do. There is just no pleasing you people.

      • Dano says:

        Just because you are a lawyer…does not mean you are a good one.

    • LongBayTradingCo. says:

      Am soooooo happy I culd scream fm Gibbs Hill!!!!!These guys STINK and its not dead fishQ!!@!!!!!!!!!!

      WELL DONE MINISTER FAHY. LOVE IT LOVE IT……NOW that we can stop this maladministration when will we progress under the hood of the millions gone missing from the OTHER MALADMINISTRATION aka previous government?????? when???? when???? when????.

      Min Fahy KEEP ON KEEPING ON AND STAY FIRM AND STAY THE COURSE.
      Warwick voter

    • Glenn C. says:

      It is so blatantly evident that the UBP/oba does not want to relinquish Front St. to anyone outside of their ‘click’!
      Sad day for Bda. politics. We’ve gone back 40yrs.

      • Dano says:

        @Glenn…if you see nothing at all wrong with the way that deal went down, I don’t know what to tell you!

        Was that proposal, the best one? No.
        Is 200+ year lease reasonable? No.
        Was the bidding process open to most….No
        Was the bidding process long enough? Many would say no!
        Does having a Casino on Whites Island make ANY sense. If you think yes it does – check back with me in a month or so when the winds in the harbor pick up, or the next time the ferry workers go on strike!

        Some might look at it and say it was a favor for the Par-la-Ville hotel project that a COH member was involved in. We the public, need to know the truth!

  2. buzz says:

    A bit late, but Great Idea

  3. Loquatz says:

    It should be noted that Graeme Outerbridge was elected mayor on the basis of around 100 votes. Yes, that’s how many people voted.

    • Time Shall Tell says:

      The point is he was voted in.

      • Sad says:

        That gives them the right to give away BDAs most prime public real estate under the cloak of secrecy?

        • Time Shall Tell says:

          No, it doesn’t but this matter should be handled in a democratic manner & through the courts rather then the way it is being carried out. However I do believe these current actions will now stand a good chance of still ending up in the courts but this time it looks like the roles may be reversed.

          • Dano says:

            The problem is that the courts take too long and cost way to much. By the time the courts get around to dealing with it, more damage would be done.

  4. Paul says:

    Thank you minister Fahy,enough is enough of these clowns at the COH

    • Scoalsy says:

      You were VERY nice by calling them clowns because i would/could call worst names than that which they deserve.

  5. Vote for Me says:

    This is a disaster on so many fronts and brings to memory the Turks and Caicos situation.

    The legal bills will certainly add up now. Who will ‘pay the piper’.

    I suspect that we will all have immediate opinions but it is a drastic step when any elected body is ‘over ridden’.

    Aall eyes will be on this one.

    • hmmm says:

      So, do you see the elected COH officials as good or bad for the City and Bermuda?

      Good v Bad. ?

      • Vote for Me says:

        @ hmmm
        Reading the Ombudsman report shows that Ms. Brock offers criticism of the waterfront that goes back many years to include Sir John Swan and administrations prior to Mr. Gosling.

        Looks like the only winners will be the lawyers.

        From a purely democratic perspective, this does not bode well for Bermuda.

        The things that make us go hmmmmm.

        • Come on says:

          “From a purely democratic perspective”

          Yeah but from a practical/realistic perspective, it is a fantastic thing. So…..

        • Hmmm says:

          Vote for me FAILED, couldn’t answer a simple question.

          • Sandy Bottom says:

            He was dancing around. Would make a good COH politician.

  6. sage says:

    No merry christmas for” Team Hamilton”.

  7. ib says:

    Good. Now can we get to the matter of dissolving CoH entirely?

  8. About time, now get rid of the whole PLP lot in CoH

  9. Truth is killin' me... says:

    IT HAS BEGUN…ABOUT FORKIN’ TIME! OUTERBRIDGE…GO HAVE A DARK AND STORMY…YOU’RE GONNA NEED A FEW!!

  10. Kangoocar says:

    Thank you OBA!!! Now can you go after them for the money they have already taken??? This hand picked plp team has cost us enough already!!! I hope the residents of Hamilton are proud of themselves for voting in this bunch of losers! How did that work put for you?? All because you were swayed by the plp to vote for them and now we are all paying big time!!!!

  11. Really says:

    Popcorn time!

  12. Kangoocar says:

    Can we have new elections soon please????

    • Glenn C. says:

      Yeah! A General Election,that what’s needed.

      • Kangoocar says:

        You sound very bitter with the results of the last general election?? My advise to you is, get over it!! Try joining the way the majority thought and voted!!

  13. Vote for Me says:

    Interesting point.

    An appointed Senator has taken over authority from elected persons (nothwithstanding everyone’s concerns. This may have serious ramifications for various quarters.

    The article also implies that legal fees may not be paid, which will further hamper the ability of Corporation to take any valid legal action to defend itself.

    This is indeed a watershed moment for the Corporation and Bermuda.

    Any issues of voiding previously agreed contracts will make matters worse.

    • hmmm says:

      No it won’t if they are within their rights to do so.

      Are you one of the elected ?

      The name “Vote For Me” leans towards asking for votes.

      :-)

      • Vote for Me says:

        Think about the implications of voiding a legal contract. At a minimum, there will be compensation for the affected party.

        • Rich says:

          You simply bring the retainer to an end and instruct lawyers to discontinue. Granted, the Corporation will still owe for everything incurred before, but by bringing things to a close, the bills stop piling up.

          • Vote for Me says:

            Not a lawyer contract for representation. A contract for lease, sale etc. Trying to cancel it retroactively is a significant legal hurdle and compensation might be quite expensive.

        • Hmmm says:

          So we should do nothing? Great plan. NOT.

  14. Double Standards says:

    Well done to Councillors Scott and Rawlins for displaying integrity when dealing with the inner cabal of the CoH and refusing to be a part of such an underhanded administration and sticking by their morals.

    Without your actions the maladministration would’ve continued unabated.

    Thank you for showing some political class in this island for once.

  15. LOL (original TM*) says:

    Da da daaaaaaaaaaa (to the tune of “belt from the croods)

    LOL

  16. Ratepayer says:

    Do I get a vote now,you collect and spend my money from taxing me?

  17. truth hurts says:

    this is deep!

  18. Triangle Drifter says:

    My my, the OBA is on the warpath this weekend.

    • No they just needed to do a swift motion to make some people concentrate on this, so we hopefully wont stay tuned to more pressing issues, the timing is well planned.

  19. Verbal Kint says:

    Time to overturn the apple cart, then when the corporation is re-established, if it is, it can be a test platform for transparency and good governance guidelines with some real teeth. Time to hold the public servants to account, and this is a good place to start.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      It was headed in that direction under Mayor Gosling.

  20. Jim Bean says:

    Well done OBA!!! This corporation has acted without regard to law. Read the report.

  21. terry says:

    I only read about half the comments here.
    Finally we have some people with testicular to root out what has been ingrained for over 14 years.
    The country is broke with limited resources .

    The Magpie took it but did not share it as previous have.

    I won’t be buying wine for some time.
    Now come on Bernews; you can print that.
    shalom.

    • Terry the country is far from being broke, it is just the working class that is feeling the jabs, no longer are we being pinched because that feeling goes away, but we are been jabbed so hard the feeling lingers.

      • spot2 says:

        are you serious? what planet are you on, mate? the country is SERIOUSLY broke… and btw, so is CoH !

        • Hmph says:

          Um the COH is far from broke. Y u think the OBA want to control it so badly?!?

          • Mike Hind says:

            Are you saying that the OBA has taken over finances in order to take the money there for themselves?

            Seriously?

            THAT is why you think they took it over, in the face of ALL the other factors shown?

            Wow.

  22. LP says:

    Clowns out. How on earth were they allowed to twist the electorate to be voted in … Let’s make it swift.

  23. James Rego says:

    Wow! Amazing! That is a sure kick in the pants for the Green Team. No more money for suits, travel, iPads and high price lawyers. But knowing Graham, not something he will let go of.

    • Oh please Mr Burgess,your party/Government was on it”s way to do away with the corperations when in power, so stop flip floping around by accusing the oba, as usual polo-tricking.Problem with you and all polictians, be it in the House oe city hall,”When they call the roll to see who is present, they are not sure to answer “present” or “not guilty”

    • spot2 says:

      That suit purchasing thing was the last straw for me. I mean, c’mon! You think I pay taxes so you muttly crew can buy a suit? that was the last insult. good riddance

  24. Vote for Me says:

    Consider the contrast from the Ombudsman report.

    Team Gosling took all property and transferred it to a trust to protect eh assets from Government.

    Team Gosling paid $1m of corporation money to an unnamed lawyer (or firm) as a retainer.

    Team Gosling hired KPMG who apparently gave a very abbreviated disclosure about the Democracy Trust that leased all COH property.

    Team Outerbridge hired a new (unnamed auditor) that provided much more detailed disclosure about the trust.

    Team Outerbridge paid $30,000 for ‘firing KPMG’.

    Team Outerbridge voted to pay themselves and buy suits for the Mayor amongst other things. Team Outerbridge awards the waterfront after an apparently abbreviated process.

    Team Gosling and many teams before apparently participated in all sorts of actions that caused suspicions about the waterfront project.

    Team Outerbridge continuously threatens the management team.

    Can we be advised of total legal fees of team Outerbridge vs. Team Gosling.

    We now have the situation where the OBA has finished what PLP allegedly started – taking control of COGH assets!!

    In summary? A complete mess!

  25. Time Shall Tell says:

    Surely looks like OBA want to lead by dictatorship based on their latest actions. Honestly if you see this as a good thing in the way this was handled then you don’t believe in a democratic system. If the COH has done wrong then bring them before the courts then hold an election for an ELECTED replacement.

    This is where I say party politics is VERY dangerous because there are going to be many who stand behind this only because it’s the OBA doing this.

    • Mike Hind says:

      “Lead by dictatorship”?

      Seriously? Do you not know what that word means?

      • Yes they know what the word means, we were almost in a dictatorship for eight years, or maybe you were in Scotland or somewhere like that, I could fill you in some time over a drink.

        • Mike Hind says:

          There you go again with that dishonest implications.

          I am Bermudian. I live in Bermuda and have for my whole life, barring two years away at school.
          I’ve never been to Scotland.

          When were we “almost in a dictatorship”?

      • No why don’t you tell him Mike. You seem to know it all.

        • Mike Hind says:

          You mad?

          Knowing what the word “dictatorship” means – and that it doesn’t apply here, at all – doesn’t mean I know it all.

          Why you mad?

    • Kangoocar says:

      Are you serious??? If the OBA had waited for the courts to give a time to have a trial, there simply would have been no money left!!! I can’t believe you would think that is OK??? Tell me you don’t really believe that!!

      • There goes dem damn sailors again, i told them stay aboard the ship and drink with me, so if the ship goes down we be to drunk to know a thing, then we wake up on the other side and sit under the vine trees and have fresh vine. boy dat is de life, Cal I hear you now, let a go peter. i REALLY MISS MY MATE DID TIME A YEAR, well i be home soon enough, so get my mansion ready.

        • Sparky says:

          Duane, you are a true whack job…. PLEASE get professional help.

  26. Paul says:

    Mayor Outerbridge, please resign…. you wlll go down in the history books as the worst mayor Bermuda has ever had…….I look back and see the former Mayors, they had Bermuda at heart…you loosers are about what you can gain for your own benifit,thank you Mr Fahy for stepping in and doing the right thing.

  27. Unbelievebale says:

    Check Derrick Burgess trying to spin this. If the Ombudsman said such a thing under a PLP Govt, the same motion would happen.

    The PLP are saying anything to make it stick to the OBA. It’s sad really.

  28. Rhonda Neil says:

    Time for the UK to dissolve it all the OBA as well, especially the TA, 2OK, but please don’t pay elected persons of the CoH

    • Bermuda Male says:

      let me guess all should be dissolved other than the PLP right?

  29. Erasmus says:

    The embarrassment ends.

  30. Road Runner says:

    Fahy rolled up to City Hall corking Marley’s “gonna chase those crazy bald heads out of town”.

  31. bluebird says:

    Does this mean that the Night Mare and his crew will have to get a “REAL” job now.
    Since 1793 the Corporation of Hamilton have elected Business people whom have been on the CORPORATION for “FREE” because of there interest of Hamilton and Bermuda as a whole.

    • Kangoocar says:

      I think you meant ” night mayor!! ” hopefully soon they will be looking for a real job! But I can tell you they will have a hard time finding a job!! Who the heck would hire this bunch of sorry skunks??? All my life I was lead to believe that skunks are little fury black animals with a white stripe down their backs, I now realize I was wrong!!!!

    • Vote for Me says:

      @ bluebird
      Not so fast. Consider how former members of the corporation benefited their business interests.

      We need to be careful and not get caught in the media sound bites. Read the Ombudsman’s report to understand what team Gosling did with $1m and all of the Corporation property. They effectively transferred it to themselves, in their individual capacities as trustees.

      If we are objective, team Gosling had the same concerns as team Outerbridge. To keep the assets of the corporation away from government.

      Bermuda is on a slippery slope with this latest move. Just imagine if the government tries to invalidate any existing contracts.

      • walls says:

        There is a key difference, which you conveniently omitted.

        Team Gosling were probably very aware that the previous PLP government were draining the islands coffers and knew they would target the corporations assets next. So it was very prudent action they took, if they didn’t the PLP would have raided those funds like they have with all the others!

      • walls says:

        You did omit a very important detail!

        When team Gosling were in charge the previous PLP government were raiding the islands coffers dry and they knew the corporations assets were in the crosshairs. They took prudent steps to protect those assets.

        Now though the opposite situation exists and the OBA government has to take steps to protect the assets of the corporation.

      • Hmmm says:

        beneficiarys benefit, trustees do not!

  32. So Tired says:

    Merry Christmas everybody!

  33. Build a Better Bermuda says:

    Well this an interesting turn of events, but not one I disagree with. Derrick Burgess’s response shows the PLP’s (and his own) desire to ignore their history, as when they were in power, they tried to take power from the Gosling administration. When they couldn’t find a justifiable route for that, they changed the municipalities election laws to get a group they wanted in. After ‘Team Hamilton’ won the election, (that excluded the vast majority of the municipality’s taxpayers) the PLP’s issues with the corporations seem to have been disolved. Now that the OBA has been given justifiable cause to take over the financial administration of the Corporation, they cry foul. Self serving hypocrisy, guess they would like to see those they invested so much to get in power to stay in power

    Was the previous election laws fair, no; did the PLP’s amendments fix those issues, no, they just changed them for new ones. Now as a result of the PLP’s willingness to look the other way for their ‘Team Hamilton’ we have had some of the worst cases of self serving and mal-administration for several decades.

    Has the OBA revoked the democratically elected municipality’s government, not yet, they have merely made it hard for them to pay for whatever they want to do, they will certainly have to be clear and transparent for money. In the meantime, there’s is nothing to keep the day to day operations from running normally, all the corporation’s employees will get paid. Well maybe not all, ‘Team Hamilton’ might have gotten their last Christmas bonus and this time will have to try and threaten someone at the Ministry of Home Affairs for future payments.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      I wonder if the lights are still burning in the Mayors office tonight? Maybe he is packing up his stuff. Maybe running the paper shredder. Maybe deleting files. Busy busy busy.

    • James Rego says:

      Thank you Build a Better Bermuda, you’ve defined it exactly right.

  34. jt says:

    Some unhatched chickens were being counted, but the 2012 general election cracked those eggs.

  35. Nuffin but da Truth says:

    about time Fahy,now nail these lot and throw the keys away!

  36. Navin Johnson says:

    if we could only turn back the clock and have the OBA take control of Bermuda’s finances during the financial reign of terror during the 14 year PLP term…probably could have saved a couple of billion that seems to have gone up in smoke…..

    • Scoalsy says:

      Just like magic all that money disappeared! amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. Scoalsy says:

    I know i should have brought MORE cloths and traveling tickets last week :(

  38. Vote for Me says:

    According to media reports, Government came close to losing the case against COH on Friday and therefore withdrew the case. This does not bode well for the rate payers since more money will be paid to lawyers.

    All media reports highlight the various ‘financial issues’ at COH that need to be addressed. I do not think anyone can disagree.

    The problem for government and all of us is the facts.

    The Ombudsman’s report concludes that there has been maladministration at COH using the waterfront development as an example. It also highlights prior issues with the waterfront development that includes references to Sir John Swan and prior COH administrations.

    What is the solution?

    First effort should be a review of the latest audited accounts of COH. 2011 has been completed and I believe a more recent set has been published.

    Second, an independent accounting entity should be requested to review the financial processes at COH. KPMG can not be included since they are referenced in the Ombudsman’s report in a somewhat grey area about the Democracy Trust (a difference between legal and accounting disclosures). But there are others that can do the job!

    Bermuda generally focusses on media sound bites and ignores the facts. If yesterday’s court case is anything to go by, rate payers and taxpayers will pay the price. Rate payers for COH legal bills and tax payers for any damages awarded against the government.

    A reality seems to be that team Gosling may have been right to pay a $1m retainer to an unknown law firm to ‘defend the COH against land grants by the government’.

    None of us would have predicted that the ultimate case would involve the COH and OBA!!

    Lets hope democracy is the winner here.

    They say ’2 wrongs do not make a right’. You can not correct alleged financial irregularities with constitutional or democratic errors. Let the courts decide!!

    • Verbal Kint says:

      “They say ’2 wrongs do not make a right’. You can not correct alleged financial irregularities with constitutional or democratic errors. Let the courts decide!!”

      Bingo. Therein lies the problem.

  39. Ratepayer says:

    $850,000 for councillor expenses? This compared to $10,000 the previous year by the former administration.
    What the heck is this nonsense? Call in Scotland Yard and investigate.My granny says ‘This is total ignorance!’

  40. Vote for Me says:

    According to an RG report of Friday’s court proceedings related to the COH members paying themselves…

    “Presiding over yesterday’s matter was Puisne Judge Stephen Hellman, who told Corporation lawyer Eugene Johnston he had won the application case “without a shot being fired”.

    This is an example of how the legal technicalities outweigh or override they typical media sound bites.

    For the naysayers, I am not defending COH actions. I am pointing out that there may be more detail than we realize. Constant decrying of COH actions may cause us all to be disappointed once all is said and done.

    We should also remember that MP Bascome from St. Georges infamously missed the debate on the Municipalities Act and almost caused the OBA to lose the vote.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      So, is this something that is unethical but not illegal? It does not take long to figure out where they learned how to do that.

  41. St. D says:

    The fact is Bermuda is a mess from top to bottom and the OBA are slowly cleaning it up. Are they doing everything perfect? No, of course not. Are we heading in the right direction? Yes, if only because all the other directions will be wrong. Not the best rationale but it is the best that Bermuda can do right now. Hopefully 2014 will bring us high enough out of the hole we are in so we have better choices.

  42. John E. Thorne says:

    It is too bad someone didn’t take over the financial administration of the Bermuda Government during the latter part of the PLP’s 14 years in power.

  43. Bob says:

    As Mr.Bean quotes Marley ‘we gonna chase them crazy bald heads out of town’!

  44. Paul says:

    I was having a conversation with my neighbor today…….. and he asked me what job did the present mayor have before he was elected as mayor !!!!for the life of of me I could not answer him, does anyone know ?

  45. Irony says:

    Man,this PLP/COH is doing a lot of damage to Bermuda.

  46. Timely says:

    About time!

  47. COOKIE JAR:
    This song COOKIE JAR was written by LASHING DOGS from the British Virgin Islands.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KztdHmJz-8k