Minister Fahy: ‘Less Than Half Has Been Spent’

March 9, 2015

[Updated] The “Ministry has not spent $1.5 million to obtain advice on voiding the waterfront leases,” and such “assertions are completely misleading and false,” Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy said today [Mar 9], adding that ”to date less than half the requested amount has been spent.”

Minister Fahy said the Ministry requested supplementary sums for the fiscal year 2014/2015, which is designed to cover legal fees expended, and fees possibly to be expended in respect of the waterfront arbitration, for fiscal year 2014/15 and “to date less than half the requested amount has been spent.”

The Minister’s statement follows after Senator Marc Daniels said “The revelation that the OBA paid out nearly $1.5 million in legal fees to seek guidance on how to void the Hamilton Waterfront Lease is an affront to every Bermudian who has been forced to bear the burden of that organization’s version of shared sacrifice.”

Minister Fahy said, “Senator Daniels has made inaccurate statements regarding legal fees in respect of the Ministry of Home Affairs. To ensure public clarity, the Ministry has requested supplementary sums for the fiscal year 2014/2015.

“This measure is designed to cover legal fees expended, and fees possibly to be expended in respect of the waterfront arbitration, for fiscal year 2014/15.

“In addition, it is anticipated that the measure would cover costs for the Constitutional challenge to the changes to the Municipalities Act 1923 currently before the Supreme Court of Bermuda, again, for fiscal year 2014/15.

“As an added note, a small portion of the requested allocation relates to funding a guarantee through the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation. The supplementary request is based on best estimates and the fee request and billings to date are vetted by the Attorney General’s chambers.”‎

Minister Fahy continued, “Contrary to the Opposition Senator’s statement, the Ministry has not spent $1.5million to obtain advice on voiding the waterfront leases. Such assertions are completely misleading and false.

“Fees have been spent on overseas Counsel, expert advice, preparation of pleadings, witness statements and other litigation expenses. To date less than half the requested amount has been spent.

“It’s quite regrettable, as Senator Daniels should know better than to issue such inflammatory and speculative statements particularly when the matter is scheduled to be debated in the House and Senate during the budget debate,” added Minister Fahy.

This exchange follows after Michael MacLean’s Allied Development launched legal action over losing the waterfront lease, which they signed with the Corporation of Hamilton in late 2012. The RFP process to award the lease was criticised in an Ombudsman’s report, and the lease was overturned following a vote in Parliament in 2014.

Last month, Allied Trust and Allied Development Partners Limited filed legal documents seeking $90 million in financial compensation, and in response to the legal action, Attorney-General Trevor Moniz said the Government “will be defending it vigorously.”

Update 7.35pm: A PLP spokesperson said, “In his haste to evade the truth, Minister Fahy neglected to reveal which company looks to receive nearly $1.5 million taxpayer dollars in legal fees.

“The fact is that the OBA has set aside $1.5 million dollars of your money to fight a legal case that is likely to generate even higher legal bills. That’s nearly $1.5 million that could have been spent on our students or on bringing tourists to our shores.

“We call on the OBA to stop evading the truth, come clean and reveal which law firm has benefited from so much of our tax dollars and if there is any connection with members of the One Bermuda Alliance.”

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Comments (28)

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  1. Family and Friends Plan says:

    Biggest Spin doctor of them all Minister Fahy……ooh my

    • Family and Friends Plan says:

      Why must info always be pushed put of the OBA. ….
      Well guess that’s Transparency for ya…

      • It's about time! says:

        Maybe it’s because they are so busy actually trying to get s*** done!!!

        • Family and Friends Plan says:

          Like what increasing the unemployment rate ..
          ..I think it’s looks more like 2000 less jobs…..please

          • Redman says:

            @ Family and Friends …

            Then how about you employ some of those out of work!!

            • Jadon says:

              not his/her job !

              • Redman says:

                @ Jadon

                No I suppose it isn’t & neither is it the (any) Govts job to provide employment. The Govt of the day are responsible for running the country hopefully in a manner that sees a strong economy which creates opportunity. This in turn encourages private citizens to create businesses and as such employment. Got it? I doubt it.

    • Lois Frederick says:

      Now show equal disgust at Marc Bean for getting so much wrong and spouting it like it is fact.

    • Lois Frederick says:

      Now show equal disgust at Marc Daniels for getting so much wrong and spouting it like it was fact.

    • Rockfish#1 and #2 says:

      Not really Trumpy, you are a real MP (Master of Propaganda)

    • Mockingjay says:

      Less then half of that has been spent SO FAR, so that means that more will be spent.
      You FOOLS got what you voted for and your kicking yourselves in the ***.

  2. Never Never says:

    Minister fahy I believe him he has always told the truth lololo hahahahaha SMDH

    • frank says:

      This fahy guy mane mission is to make sure that born Bermudians. Get nothing

  3. Unbelievable says:

    Once again, the OBA has to correct the PLP. Why does the PLP keep doing that? They keep releasing these statements which are intended to incite anger but then the OBA come from behind and have to correct them. It happens a little too often.

    • Family and Friends Plan says:

      Oh you kidding me right….if the PLP had not mention this you and others would still be in the dark…..the Transparency and rush to cover themselves is a far reach by OBA. …for real….this is Merely a statement to cover their steps nothing less….

      • Unbelievable says:

        Like I said, it happens far too often.

        This is Bermuda. Everything is two degrees of separation.

        • Yesir says:

          Two degrees of separation? Think no degrees. Remind me, where does a certain person work? Which firm represents the Govt? How much legal work is that firm getting from the current Govt? What systems are in place for ensuring the work is assigned without regard to self interest? What influence does Minister Fahy and Minister Crockwell have over the law firm that is appointed for Govt work? The PLP Govt was rightly criticized for its self-dealing but this lot are even worse. Why do Bermudians tolerate this? Oh yes, you get the Govt you deserve …

  4. sandgrownan says:

    WTF are the PLP going to call this? Lawyer-gate?

    • How about ... says:

      How about “Fixing-Inherited-Mess-gate”?

  5. Kangoocar says:

    Once again the plp are caught in another lie??? The hypocricy is from Daniels/plp is astounding!! The OBA would not even have had to spend this money if it was not for the plp and its COH cronies trying to give away our city of Hamilton??? The plp incompetence has once again raised its ugly head!!! The problem they had with their last scheme of skulldugery was, they picked a person to head up this develpment that had no hope of getting it off the ground!!! Once again the plp have proven, party first Bermuda last!!!

  6. Coffee says:

    Don’t worry , next week we’ll all find out that Mark had it right the first time … The only thing straight about Micheal Fahye is his paycheck coming from government !

  7. Vote for Me says:

    This has to be spin at its worse. The financial year 2014/15 ends on March 31, 2015 (about 3 weeks time). If a supplemental amount has been requested, the OBA must anticipate spending $1,500,000 on the waterfront issue this year (i.e. in total before March 31, 2015).

    Minister Fahy might be technically correctly in that the money has not been SPENT yet, but the fact that they requested a supplementary indicates that their best estimate is that the total waterfront legal bill for the period April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2015 will be $1,500,000.

    When we add the fact that Government already admits it must pay damages for voiding the waterfront lease, we should know that the waterfront litigation and subsequent payment of damages will be a very expensive process for OBA and taxpayers.

    As an added note, there were allegations about being sensationalist last week when MP Brown made a statement about expatriate children being allowed to seek employment. Whilst Min. Fahy ‘complained’, he made a change to the policy!! If the policy was correct and clear in the first instance, there would not have been a need to clarify anything.

    All Bermudians need to keep a watchful eye on the voiding of the waterfront lease and the ultimate cost to the taxpayer. There will almost definitely be a supplementary required to cover the final payout.

    Last point, the PLP of late seem to be asking questions to seek answers that they already know. We will have to wait and see which law firm is representing Government in the waterfront matter and which OBA MP or prominent member is associated with the legal advice.

  8. Oh,I see now says:

    Fahy is living in the wrong time he would have fit in like a glove with the original 40 Thieves an I’m not talking about the night club either.

  9. aceboy says:

    The only thing coming out of PLP mouths are untruths and twisted facts. It proves time and again we cannot let them back into government.

  10. Johnny says:

    Not even halfway through the year and already spent half of the budget for the year. Simple maths will have the OBA paying even more than $1.5m. So yes Marc Daniels you are wrong – for the worse.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      Actually, we are almost at the end of the year, 3 weeks left in the financial year.

  11. Charlly X says:

    Smh politicians and lawyers the best at spinning ! Makes no difference which party or law firm ! Betty Crocker or Shakespeare ? False hopes of transperancy ! Did I say that right or should offer a rebutted statement tomorrow ?

  12. clearasmud says:

    This is pure spin from the Minister who never actually says what the budgeted amount was nor does he say where the money went! But at least we can take comfort that “less than half was spent” LOL.

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