PC: Govt Wrapped “Itself In A Veil Of Secrecy”

May 27, 2015

“It continues to be very interesting that a government that sold itself to the people of Bermuda as paragons of transparency, inclusiveness and accountability in governance” continues to “wrap itself in a veil of secrecy in regards to the proposed airport project,” the People’s Campaign said today.

A statement from the group said, “Steve Nackan, president of Aecon Concessions, continues to dismiss questions concerning conduct behind closed emails to manipulate facts in order to secure its selection as contractor in a deal that Aecon brought to the Canadian Commercial Corporation [CCC].

“Mr. Nackan presents it as “just routine correspondence between people moving a business transaction forward.” So, it would appear to be routine to represent yourself as belonging to an entity that you do not belong to.”

“Rather than respond specifically to what constitutes issues of trust and confidence that any government ought to welcome surrounding a multi-million dollar deal of this magnitude, the public is repeatedly told you just do not understand the highly technical custom made model for this unique solution.

“Well it would appear that despite efforts at damage control, increasing numbers of people in the public understand all to well and can see through all of the ‘fuzzied’ attempts to explain away concerns about what most people understand is just a bad deal, and not ‘routine’ at all.”

The full statement from the People’s Campaign follows below:

It continues to be very interesting that a government that sold itself to the people of Bermuda as paragons of “transparency, inclusiveness and accountability in governance” in service of the people of Bermuda yet it continues to wrap itself in a veil of secrecy in regards to the proposed Airport project and demonize and dismiss anyone that dares to ask questions.

Steve Nackan, president of Aecon Concessions, continues to dismiss questions concerning conduct behind closed emails to manipulate facts in order to secure its selection as contractor in a deal that Aecon brought to the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC). Mr. Nackan presents it as “just routine correspondence between people moving a business transaction forward.” So, it would appear to be routine to represent yourself as belonging to an entity that you do not belong to.

CCC in an effort at damage control stated the following in response to a media query: “In response to your specific question around “Aecon’s Steven Nackan asked to use CCC’s identity,” the word “cover” used by Mr. Nackan was meant as a catch-all for ensuring consistency in how the team is represented from a branding and legal perspective throughout the process. In this model, CCC is the Canadian team lead, so it is important to ensure at every interaction – even when CCC is not physically present – it is understood that it is the CCC team that is being represented.”

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This response is very different to the response at the time. Wendy Dempsey, Assistant General Council for CCC stated, “CCC should have an ASA [Advisory Services Agreement] in place before presenting anything with our logo.” So, clearly contrary to CCC’s position now, at the time Aecon was not formerly part of the team because there was no agreement in place, so it is not accurate of CCC to claim, “the word “cover” used by Mr. Nackan was meant as a catch-all for ensuring consistency in how the team is represented from a branding and legal perspective throughout the process.”

Nor is it accurate for Steve Nackan to claim that this was “routine” because if that was the case why at the time did CCC have an issue with it. CCC and Aecon under this uniquely developed model for Bermuda are not above having in their playbook a strategy for handling the public, namely that it may be routine when holding press conferences to “get some…questions planted.”

Similarly, certain due diligence practices cannot be explained away under the guise of Steve Nackan claiming it is “a new approach for Bermuda that involves the Government of Canada, so our process may not be clearly and widely understood publicly.” Or CCC attempting to cover themselves by claiming: “CCC expects the full cooperation of Canadian suppliers when undergoing the due diligence process and will provide guidance to suppliers to ensure that they provide the required information.”

It is a flagrant contradiction of the facts to claim that you are providing “guidance” to a candidate for a contract when Wendy Dempsey of CCC states, “I am working on a “Capabilities” document that can serve as part of a paper trail on your selection of Aecon. A draft is attached.” Or when the “supplier” is instructed to only answer the questions “that can help support the choice of Aecon.” We are told that we just do not understand the model, it is just routine.

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In addition, neither CCC, Aecon nor the Government responded to a media inquiry that asked, “How does CCC view – in terms of business ethics – the use by a prospective supplier of a prospective buyer’s advisor as a “back channel”? We refer here to a July 18 email from Steve Nackan to Wendy Dempsey and Don Olsen in which Mr Nackan states that CIBC, advisor to the Government of Bermuda, is their “back channel”. Not only are they a back channel but CIBC is a shareholder in Aecon Concessions. This may appear to be a conflict of interest, but I guess we just do not understand the model, or is it just “routine.”

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Rather than respond specifically to what constitutes issues of trust and confidence that any government ought to welcome surrounding a multi-million dollar deal of this magnitude, the public is repeatedly told you just do not understand the highly technical custom made model for this unique solution.

Well it would appear that despite efforts at damage control, increasing numbers of people in the public understand all to well and can see through all of the “fuzzied” attempts to explain away concerns about what most people understand is just a bad deal, and not “routine” at all.

Rev. Nicholas Tweed  |  Jason Hayward  | Chris Furbert

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Comments (26)

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  1. Deport that fella hiding behind a church podium…He is nothing but an instigator! A real far cry from a preacher of the “Word of God” :-(

    • Damn says:

      I’d like to see his credentials. ie. what divinity school did he graduate from? did he do any local parish work anywhere? what qualifies him, over somebody else, to come here as a “Reverand”?

  2. Vote for Me says:

    The Peoples Campaign might take a page out of the US indictment against some of the FIFA Officials to clearly explain to the Bermuda public the issues surrounding the proposed airport redevelopment contract. If anyone reads the US indictment, it is quite long but systematically lays out the allegations against the FIFA executives.

    For the link see: http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/sports/the-us-indictments-unsealed-may-27-2015-pertaining-to-corruption-within-fifa/1559/

    The continuing comment from Aecon that Bermuda and Bermudians ‘do not understand the nature of the new model’ is both factually wrong and condescending. It is also somewhat comical that you have the alleged wrongdoer in this case, trying to belittle the Bermudian public.

    The email referenced above is quite clear. Aecon sought to remain under the cloak of CCC for its initial visit to Bermuda. It remains for Aecon to explain why such a cloak was necessary. If they continue to assert that it was a routine practice to move the deal forward, then the Bermudian public needs to know what other ‘covers’ are necessary and have been used to ‘move the deal forward’.

    In terms of ‘deals’ Aecon should rest assured that several Bermudian residents have participated in business deals of greater value than the proposed $1bn revenue at the airport and are also questioning the ethical basis for what is being proposed.

    Unfortunately, the Bermuda political model discourages any businesses from speaking out against the proposed deal. The underlying question however, is how many local businesses would actively participate in any international transaction if the proposed partner requests to use their letterhead to conceal the initial involvement of the proposed partner?

    Many of us refer to Bermuda’s reputation in the international marketplace and I would suggest that the full government team consider how this ongoing saga is reducing Bermuda’s international reputation. Under the circumstances, the government has the numerical votes to pass the proposed agreement through Parliament, but at what lasting reputational risk?

    It is also interesting to note the absence of comment from the Government Internal Audit Department, the Office of the Auditor General or an ‘Own Motion’ by the Ombudsman.

  3. Zevon says:

    What does Tweed’s work permit say? Why is it kept in a veil of secrecy? When will Walton Brown investigate Tweed?

    • MAKE MY DAY says:

      When will Walton Brown investigate Tweed? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!

  4. aceboy says:

    The PLPeoples Campaign’s hypocrisy marches on.

  5. Plain and simply, this is just another “smoke in the mirror trick” played out by the B.I.U. who are the Progressive Labour Party right hand when it comes down to “stirring up the pot”
    I amongst others want to see where and how a person invited on Island to preach the “word of God” can be a spokesperson for a radical group :-( It had been his father that was the hero and not this young man…He is no-more than another damn zero! Suffering from a serious case of “mixed up moods and attitudes.”

  6. TonyC says:

    Surely these emails are between private companies, pitching for work from Government. How that can be turned into Government having a veil of secrecy is somewhat spurious, and smacks of people looking for something which just isn’t there.

    If I were them, I would be more interested in following the money trail for Port Royal, Heritage Wharf, Magistrate’s Court, TCD etc etc etc etc etc

  7. MAKE MY DAY says:

    If anyone ever Wrapped “Itself In A Veil Of Secrecy”… It was certainly the PLP / BIU hierarchy for 14 very long years – that resulted in untold financial damage to the Island – totaling over a $2.3 BILLION budget deficit – a lot of which still has NOT been accounted for!!

    BDA… You cannot let this totally “unscrupulous” gang-of-buffoons (PLP) get their hands on Bermudians Tax $$$ ever again – as generations of future “Onions” will be responsible for paying-down-this-debt – for many years to come!!

    A VERY BIG “LESSON LEARNED” I HOPE!!

  8. @ MAKE MY DAY: Let us all “pray” that a very big lesson has been learnt :-(

    • MAKE MY DAY says:

      RR….The OBA had better stay very “clean and transparent” – as they only have “one shot” at proving who they REALLY are + what their priorities are for BDA and “Onions-in general”!!

  9. spongebob says:

    Can someone explain to me why only one email and not the entire trail is released? I can point to one sentence in a document and interpret it anyway I feel appropriate and spin it as such. However, if the whole paragraph is read in context, it changes the interpretation.

    To show complete good faith, why are the conversations of PLP and PC communications not released? Lets take a gander at those and see how people can interpret them? Time for some email releases of the official opposition as they are there to protect us, so lets understand what is going on behind the scenes or maybe that rule does not apply to them?

  10. Bermyman says:

    When will the BIu submit overdue financials as required by LAW? .

  11. Alvin Williams says:

    To those who question whether Rev. Tweed has a right to speak up on issues in this country on a work permit; I have this answer quite apart from the fact that his father was born in Bermuda; consider this hypocrisy OBA Senator Mrs Marshall was not born in this country but sits in Bermuda’s Senate and seeks to criticize Bermuda’s civil society of which the People’s movement is a part off for it’s role in up holding Bermudian rights. Not only that but any number of non-Bermudian residents have over the years spoken up on Bermuda’s economic and political issues. We have not heard criticism coming from the element who would like to shut down Rev. Tweed’s role in the people’s movement over others who were not born in this country having their say? At any rate their efforts to shut down the people’s movement; part of Bermuda’s civil society will fail; for we the people of Bermuda have it’s back and that of Rev. Tweed.

    • aceboy says:

      Ms Marshall is married to a Bermudian and has lived in Bermuda for a very very long time.

      So what if Tweed’s father was born here? He hasn’t lived here very long at all and is here on a work permit.

      Has he conducted himself to the letter of that permit? I would like to know. Why can’t I? Veil of secrecy?

      It is NOT a People’s movement…it is an extension of the PLP/BIU. It is blatantly obvious by their words, their actions and the signs their supporters carry on their marches.

      • MAKE MY DAY says:

        Alvin Williams preaches the same old rhetorical BS over and over and over!! Have you NOT yet learned this my friend!! He is a PLP “pitchman” and has been for many years!! A leopard NEVER changes it’s spots!!

    • serengeti says:

      Why is Tweed’s work permit kept under a veil of secrecy? Is he working within his permit or not? The PC seems to want to keep it all a big secret. Why? Tweed wants to participate in the public stage. All the Bermudian public wants is to make sure he’s not taking advantage of real Bermudians by abusing his work permit.

      • stunned... says:

        was tweed’s job advertised, if so, the scope of the job should have been itemised. one can then see whether the rev’s activities are in line with the post for which he was hired.

    • serengeti says:

      In addition Alvin, Tweed was not born in Bermuda, and he is not Bermudian.

      Ms Marshall has lived here for decades, her entire family is Bermudian, and she is Bermudian.

    • Alvin bie’ you are doing it again…O.B.A. Sen. Mrs. Marshall is married to a Bermudian. She’d received her Bermudian status,(as have countless others)by remaining on Island for the required amount of years and that is the difference.
      Now, as for Rev. “make believe”,(you all know who I’m referring to)he was not born here yet does have a father that was a Bermudian but this fella was raised elsewhere and had taken a U,S.A. citizenship and may I also add he hadn’t spent any early years on the Island nor applied when given an opportunity to do so when the P.L.P. were our Government…

    • Christopher Notorius says:

      So Alvin you just confirmed that you fully back Mr Tweed – a non Bermudian, yet complain about Mrs Marshall who is a Bermudian.

      That would make you anti Bermudian if I’m not mistaken.

      care to comment sir?

      • aceboy says:

        Just come out and say it Mr. Williams…..Tweed is (sort of) black. Mrs. Marshall is white. So despite the fact that she is married to a Bermudian, has lived here for decades, has Bermudian children and is a very well respected lawyer….Tweed is *more Bermudian* than she is in your mind because he is (at least partly) black.

        • While on that topic about, “birds of a feather” I see a certain individual had been escorted into the “Courts of Justice” by some of his cronies…Will we see “Justice” or more “Just-Us”? Time will tell.

  12. Just a matter of time says:

    And there’s the distraction again on this board from the supporters of this deal. Attack the commenter. Attack the PLP and others. But do not address the obvious conflict of interest in one of the most questionable deals Bda has seen. I hope most right thinking persons who voted for the OBA realize they have been duped with their lies. Because they did lie. Point blank. And this compromises with our hard work to make us a ‘clean’ jurisdiction. This and their other shady deals and practices nowhere near matches their campaign promises in 2012. I believe there is a lot of silent outrage but big money tends to be very silencing indeed. I truly depise both the OBA and CCC for their condescending attitudes to the Bermudian public while selling us down the river.

  13. rhonda says:

    When you can’t debate facts, attack the messenger.

    • aceboy says:

      Here’s a fact….18 million dollars has disappeared from the COH. Where is the PLPeoples Campaign? Port Royal? No sign of them there either. Yet here they are rattling on about the airport….which will provide hundreds of jobs.

      Tweed is not Bermudian…fact.

      He is here on a work permit….fact.

      There has been ZERO information about the terms of the work permit and nobody can show me where his *job* was advertised…..fact.