BTA Executive Staff Receive Bonus Payments

July 11, 2015

Members of the executive staff of the Bermuda Tourism Authority have received bonus payments and the bonus for BTA CEO Bill Hanbury was guaranteed for the first year, Minister of Tourism Shawn Crockwell said in the House on Friday [July 10].

Minister Crockwell, who was answering questions from Shadow Minister of Tourism Zane DeSilva, explained that while the CEO’s bonus was guaranteed for the first year, going forward it will be a “discretionary incentive” that would be available to the CEO “based on the performance matrix.”

In February of this year, BTA CEO Bill Hanbury voluntarily provided his salary information, saying the “compensation package is a base annual salary of $295,000 with the potential for a 30% bonus and a housing allowance of $75,000.”

Although the specific amount of the bonus was not stated in yesterday’s discussion; using the numbers provided above, 30% of $295,000 is $88,500, which when added to the $295,000 base and the $75,000 housing allowance equals $458,500 compensation for the first year.

20-minute audio of the exchange on the BTA bonuses in the House on Friday

Mr DeSilva asked, “Will the Honourable Minister please confirm for this Honourable House, whether the CEO and/or Executive staff of the Bermuda Tourism Authority have been paid any bonus and/or incentive funds as at July 1, 2015?”

Minister Crockwell replied,I can confirm that members of the executive staff of the BTA have received incentive payments as of July 1, 2015.”

Mr DeSilva then asked, “Will the Honourable Minister please share with this Honourable House the names of the BTA staff members that have received bonuses and/or incentive payments and the amounts paid?”

In reply, Minister Crockwell said, “The specific terms and conditions of an employee’s employment contract are confidential, therefore I am not prepared to provide the staff member names and the incentive amount paid. I believe that this is exempted information, but the honourable member can make a PATI request and the Information Commissioner can decide on that issue.”

Opposition Leader Marc Bean said, “I would like for the honourable and learned Minister to confirm to this Chamber and the people of Bermuda, that while the BTA is utilizing taxpayer funds, he refuses, based on his own judgement, to disclose information pertaining to performances of bonuses that have been paid to these persons, or with taxpayer funds. Is he comfortable with justifying that position at this stage of the game, after two and a half years of going through a similar lack of transparency?”

Minister Crockwell said, “I’ve been consistent on this point. Specific information as it relates to the employees contract, I regard as confidential information. We all have PATI law in place. The BTA is covered by PATI. If the Information Commissioner disagrees with my assessment, then they can put in a request and the Information Commissioner can make a determination on that.”

Rolfe Commissiong said, “Will the honourable Minister agree that considering the dismal performance of the BTA to date, does this fact, that respective executives of the BTA have received bonuses an indicator that the bar that governs these bonuses/incentives is far too low?”

Minister Crockwell said, “No, I don’t agree with that. I don’t agree that the BTA … I believe they performed very well, Mr. Speaker. We are all concerned about the air arrivals but you just can’t evaluate the organization just based on that. We had this transition not that very long ago, maybe fourteen, sixteen months, something like that, and they have done an excellent job in getting this organization up and running to the standard that is running. As a a matter of fact, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition put in his Budget Reply, that they are doing good work. It’s in black and white, based on his assessment, and the meetings that he had with this organization. So I don’t agree with the honourable member.

Mr DeSilva then asked, “Will the Honourable Minister please share with this Honourable House whether in the CEO’s employment contract, he is guaranteed a bonus or incentive payment after his first year of service?”

Minister Crockwell replied, “The guarantee for the CEO was the first year only, not thereafter.”

Mr DeSilva said, “On March 11, I have the Hansard report here [PDF] and Mr Wayne Furbert asked the Minister what are the terms and conditions of the bonus package of the BTA CEO. The Minister answered ‘The CEO is eligible to receive a discretionary annual incentive payment of up to 30% of the base salary’ and then he went on to say that no bonus had been paid. My question is, being as you just said no bonus has been paid, are you saying that when you are said no bonus has been paid in this first year you were a little economical with the truth?”

Minister Crockwell replied. “At the time I inquired whether or not any bonuses had been paid to the executive or the CEO, at that time, no bonus had been paid. It had not been paid.”

Shadow Minister of Finance David Burt then asked “Given the honourable Minister’s response, I will ask, with your leave, to refer to the response in which he gave on March 11th, 2015, in where he said, and I quote, ‘the CEO is eligible to receive a discretionary annual incentive payment of up to 30% of the base salary on performance criteria identified by the board of directors.’ Will the honourable Minister please now take the time to at least inform this House why he gave us incorrect information, given that we now find out, today, that the performance, the incentive bonus is guaranteed in year one.”

Minister Crockwell said, “The 30% discretionary is an annual discretionary incentive that he would have to meet. His contract stated that in the first year it was guaranteed. At the time that I answered the question I inquired had any payments been made, they hadn’t been made. But whether or not there could have been any discussions about the contract, or any alteration of the contract, at the end of the day, the board of directors paid him his bonus for the first year. Going forward, it is a discretionary bonus, but at the time that I was asked the question, no bonuses for the executives, including the CEO, had been paid.”

Mr Bean said, “My Deputy Leader just read out a previous question, put in this honourable chambers, where we asked, what were the terms and conditions of the bonus package? The response was that it is discretionary. Now the Minister is saying that was guaranteed. Can the Minister explain to everyone in the world, is there a difference between discretionary and guaranteed when we’re talking about terms and conditions for a bonus package?”

Minister Crockwell said, “As I said in the answer, it was an annual…the discretionary incentive will be an annual incentive that would be available to the CEO based on the performance matrix. There was nothing incorrect about that statement. The first year was guaranteed. The question that I was asked was whether or not the bonuses had been paid.”

Mr Bean said, “It’s misleading the House. Again, the question was, and I ask of your leave Mr. Speaker, will the honourable Minister please inform this honourable house, what are the terms and conditions of the bonus package for the Bermuda Tourism Authority CEO. The response was, a discretionary annual incentive payment. Now he is saying that it’s guaranteed. There’s a distinction between the two, and we will suggest from this side that the Minister is actually, he mislead the house then, or he’s misleading the the House now.”

Minister Crockwell said, “I have clarified it, the incentive payment is an annual payment which is discretionary. I clarified that the first year was…I’m clarifying it now, the first year was guaranteed. The answer, the specific question today was, is he guaranteed a bonus after the first year, he was not, he was guaranteed his bonus, his incentive, in the first year. That’s when it was guaranteed, but on an annual basis it is a discretionary incentive.”

Mr Commissiong then asked, “Will the Minister concede that any CEO, including Mr. Hanbury, who would tout that one of the major attractions is the fact that a visitor could come to Bermuda to get English style high tea, may not be the right fit for Bermuda in terms of revitalizing our industry in 2015?”

Minister Crockwell replied, “I disagree.”

Mr Burt said, “In an attempt to hopefully move from this, will the honourable Minister please inform this honourable house if, in his opinion the answer he gave on March 11th, when asked about the terms and conditions and contract, he replied that the bonus was discretionary, if in that case he was probably not provided full or correct information, or he may have, perhaps, misspoke and misled the House on that particular occasion.”

Minister Crockwell said, “The answer I gave, the answer I received at the time, articulated the term of the CEO’s incentive payment. It remains on an annual basis, year in and year out, a discretionary bonus. However, the specific question asked about a guarantee, and I’m informed that there was a guaranteed incentive for the first year. At the time that I was asked the question, no bonus or incentive payment, no incentive payment was paid. I accept the honourable member’s point that at the time was it the complete answer. I accept that. I accept that. But there was no attempt, Mr. Speaker, to mislead the house, that answer is correct, because it remains an annual discretionary payment.”

- As a note the transcription above is not of the full discussion, it is excerpts, however the audio posted above does contain the full 20-minute discussion.

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  1. Next says:

    These politicians are living in an alternate universe. The BTA has done more in the last 2 years than the Tourism Dept. in the last 10.

    If any BTA staff read this, keep up the good work and try to fan away the hot air.

    • Mike says:

      What have they done?

      • Yahoo says:

        Collected a (nice) paycheck?

      • Really Really BETTTY says:

        The BTA has failed to achieve any success with our Tourist Product. There is NO evidence to indicated that any of the Performance Measures have been Achieved in the area of growing Bermuda’s Tourism Product. THE development of the BTA seems to be merely a waste of Tax Payers Money and must stop. HANSBURY is laughing all the way to the bank off Bermuda government and Bermudians……really

        Based of the lack of Success and Measurable Outcomes from the BTC NO Bonus should have been paid out.

        Tax Payers money could have been used wisely somewhere else in Government. This is a big Waste of Money. MP Crockwell needs to put away his Ego and recognize this fact.

        The tourism growth market must be addressed differently. Wake up Crockwell.

        Really really really #xannotmajethustuffup

        • Bored says:

          Like schools, to teach proper grammar and spelling.

          • Really Really BETTTY says:

            #Thanksforreadingmycommentsanyways

      • Baldr says:

        What we should be asking is why Bill Hanbury (amongst other high-earning expats) has a housing allowance of $75,000 on top of his near $300,000 salary… We’ve got a system in which rich people have housing allowances when their base salaries are more than sufficient to cover living expenses and you’ve got an increasing number of people below the average median income line struggling to feed themselves and their families. That is something that I as a young Bermudian will never understand or be happy about.

    • this is Bull S!@#, and remember SpoongeBob saying “we are broke, there is no money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      WTF
      So now we know where the $400,000 went for the Exhibition.

  2. Well done , Minister of Tourism Shawn Crockwell, in reference to your replies to the silly, “trix are for kids” questions put forward by the Opposition Party / Progressive Labour Party representatives…But yet, I’m not surprised one bit :-(

    • No-matter what this Government pays out to B.T.A to right-side our Tourism business, the Government nor B.T.A has wasted a million dollars on a concert that returned, “Jacks- -t”!

      • Yet in all honesty, them that are employed by B.T.A. do earn a “handsome wage” already. These “bonuses” can and should go where the money will help others…others that are in need :-(
        Yes, I’m also disappointed in-spite of the fact that I support the One Bermuda Alliance Government.

        • Really Really BETTTY says:

          Real #OBAdiehardblindfaithfulness

          No Tax Payers monies should be paid out if there are No Measurable Outcomes by the BTA. This is foolishness by the OBA Government and a real waste of monies. Ray your defense sure demonstrate blindfaithfulness following the party with out any Critical thought or logic…..really….

          • Get real. With all them mistakes, (like 2 billion dollars) made by the former P.L.P. Government, don’t you and others still support them? ‘cccording da fella, “the lesser of the 2 evils” Therefore, I stick with the O.B.A.

            • Really Really BETTTY says:

              #xannotmakethustuffup ……for real

          • Zevon says:

            Ok, suddenly you want to talk about measurable outcomes? What were the Measurable Outcomes to Faith Based Tourism then? Because to the rest of us it looked like a way to use government funds to pay a clueless nutcase to achieve nothing. Typica PLP, in other words.

            • gwan says:

              why do you reply to these Numpties ? I have seen 14 different people use that avatar and they all talk the same drivel . They are desperate because they know the hammer is coming down. Can’t you feel the desperation .
              Intelligent people , black and white can see the real picture . Hang tough people .

              • hmmm says:

                BTA is cheaper than the old Dept. Of Tourism.

                So it saves money.

                So far from media exposure, magazine reports , press reports it seems that the BTA are doing a great job at promoting Bermuda.

              • Blueberry Bangbelly says:

                I think the commenting avatars here are actually chosen randomly by this blogging platform by default — UNLESS specifically assigned to an email address such as Gravatar dot com?

    • So Hanbury who is already a Multi-Millionaire gets a half Million for jumping off cliffs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Only in Bermuda.
      There has to be an advertisement somewhere that says ” If you want to make Quick, Easy Money before 2017, contact U.B.P ASAP.

  3. frank says:

    the minister and the entire oba needs to get going
    they have proved over and over that they can not be trusted
    and that they do not care about the people of Bermuda

    the bta ceo needs to be fired as we speak

    • Say What? says:

      That will really solve a lot of problems. Your jealousy over his salary isn’t a good enough reason to get rid of someone who in fact is doing a great job albeit an impossible one with the like sof your nipping at his heels like a trained puppy

      • Bwoy says:

        You got it right there . IT IS JEALOUSY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Unbelievable says:

    I’m sorry but the Minister answered all these questions just fine. This is CLEARLY the PLP rounding on the Minister trying to debase him. They are accusing him of misleading the House of Assembly.

    This is complete and utter nonsense from the PLP. It’s there in black and white. We are so doomed.

  5. Bill says:

    Bonuses????

    They haven’t done anything!!!!!

    In the real world, they would have been let go by now.

  6. Bermudian. says:

    Bonuses for complete failure. Hmmm.

  7. Toodle-oo says:

    All politics aside , I believe that they (BTA) are working hard but all I’ve seen to date is a lot of spinning of numbers and hopes of predictions that numbers will go up . If arrival numbers don’t actually go up then they predict that the ones that do come will spend an average of $45 more per person by 2017.

    I see no justification for any performance based bonuses yet.

    In an earlier column Larry Burchall said that if we can not get our international business substantially back on track to stabilize and re-grow the economy (highly unlikely as long as the PLP exist) then we need to attract 1,000,000 air arrivals per annum to make up for it , starting NOW .

    Can the BTA accomplish that ? I doubt it , but it sure would warrant bonuses then.

  8. Terry says:

    Smoke and mirrors.
    DeSilva, Bean, Commissiong et al know the answers before asked.

    Hey look at us PLP people. Were here making sure dey tal dee troof and are up front.

    Keep drinking the koolaide folks.

    Rum all around.

    • Toleratate says:

      lol Terry, but Party faithful are eating it up. Look at the stories on here these last couple of days; all the same tactics, discredit OBA and we back in government. Forget that we are doing NOTHING to deserve it, or have done NOTHING in the past. Just get the masses against them and win by default as the only other choice.
      I have NO Party allegiance and HATE that one Party with a terrible track record does NOTHING to show they deserve to be the government of the day other than constantly throw mud. Our future is sad when this is how governments are choosing in Bermuda.
      I was amazed the other day when I read comments over the Botanical Garden Depot work.
      Bloggers suggested not forgetting and voting against the OBA for their lack of action? So a development under the last government has continued under this government and we should vote against them for it?
      Well, you can’t make this up. Vote out a Party on the decision over a project and vote back in the party who financially crippled us less than 3 years ago. Sick of Bermuda politics; we all screwed.
      SMDH

      • Really Really BETTTY says:

        Where is the Evidence of Performance based Measurable Outcomes? There are none……do No need for Bonuses to be paid …..this is outright wrong. ….politics does not matter thus is common sense business practices 201…….please….

      • Say What? says:

        The question is why the OBA isn’t stopping the depot project in the Botanical Gardens given how broke the island is. At best the whole project is nothing more than a perk for unionized staff and doesn’t benefit the island, least of all it’s taxpayers. Come on OBA time to turn off the tap on this type of waste

      • Ian says:

        You were amazed that a lot of people are angry that a large maintenance depot is being put into the Botanical Gardens? Really??

      • Bermudian to the core says:

        That depot project is the epitome of PLP arrogance and the OBA campaigned on change which is why there is so much outrage and disgust that the OBA haven’t pulled the plug on it yet.

  9. Unbelievable says:

    When on Earth will PLP supporters take the PLP to task for being the ones who are playing these silly political games? When will PLP supporters challenge the PLP about the $800 million we could so desperately use right now?
    The OBA is not the shining example of good governance but why can’t PLP supporters also keep the PLP accountable for their own actions of bad governance?

    Come on, people! My goodness we are doomed.

    • Well what happened to the $800 million SpongeBob borrowed, and don’t give me a FUZZY answer.
      Trying not to laugh

  10. Slinky says:

    The American CEO gets a huge bonus and guess where all that money is going. Back overseas. Invest in your own people. There are talented locals out there.

    • Bored says:

      Where are these talented locals??? I posted a job advert, and not a single Bermudian applied. Not even a single person from the present staff asked to move up. Hired and American, and they went bonkers. Wish everyone would stop with the poor me, and focus on applying for these jobs so the “Americans” wouldn’t “steal” them.

      • Slinky says:

        What job? I’d like to know.

        • Bored says:

          You’d know if you bothered to check the job board and apply for it. Rather than trolling the web.

      • OnionJuice says:

        @ Bored, maybe you closed your mailbox for applicants a day too early.

  11. Tired says:

    No no no!!! You’ve asked the civil service to take furlough but some employees of bta get bonuses? How is that logical? Since 2009/10/11/12/13/14 & now 2015 & with education cuts and all other sort of cuts in other departments how is it fair that on top of an already good/great salary in the bta is a bonus? How is that fair? With Bermudians getting decreased hours or laid off or redundant, late paying mortgages, houses being taken because of default mortgages, how are these bonuses fair? With a deficit that Bermuda has right now how do these bonuses make sense? I voted oba & a lot of what oba has done has been positive for Bermuda & some not so positive but I’m really shocked to see this despite the fact that a lot of Bermudians are in dire dire straights!! I’m utterly disgusted!! Who and what can we depend on? Plp, oba? I’m just tired of this….Let me take a nap!

    • Zevon says:

      Who is taking furloughs?

      • Toodle-oo says:

        - Who is taking furloughs ? -

        I guess that would be us in the private sector who aren’t just taking under time but have outright lost our jobs and we’re the ones where the money for bonuses is supposed to come from.

        • Zevon says:

          Good point. I should have asked about the civil service emoyees that he brought up. They’re the protected jobs, guaranteed pay rise, 14 weeks sick, 33 days vacation, no furlough, can’t fire me people.

          • Absolutely insane! e.g. Civil service employees. They have protected jobs. Guaranteed pay rise, 14 weeks sick, leave with full pay and 33 days vacation etc.(The no you can’t fire me people :-( )

            • Well, how about the people who don’t get a pay raise, no sick, leave without pay and no vacation and get fired at any given time ????????????????????????????????????

  12. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    I’ve told you minions many times before…Bermuda hasn’t bounced back because we haven’t hit rock bottom YET!… and YOU don’t wanna see what’s down there…but trust me you Will!

    • Toodle-oo says:

      If the PLP and their cohorts keep up with what they’ve been doing for the last 2 years , OR they get re-elected then the bottom will certainly come . Sooner rather than later .

  13. Neutral says:

    Bonuses are given when a company has done good throughout the year. The CEO, The Minister and all parties that make up the body of The Tourism Authority have done nothing to deserve any bonus.

    • Zevon says:

      If we’re just going to be paying people based on merit, and results, I like it.
      Let’s take another look at that Sage report.
      Start with teachers.

  14. Tired says:

    Doodle dee, I agree!! I too am in the private sector & would have loved a furlough day but took a 50-60% pay cut. But again I say the bonuses make no sense. If I have to sacrifice then the bta does not deserve these bonuses because quite frankly & simply put BERMUDA CANNOT AFFORD IT!!! Bermuda is not in the green! We are far in the RED!! PLEASE MAKE SENSE MINISTER CROCKWELL!! Show BERMUDA THAT YOU ARE MAKING THE TOUGH DECISIONS THAT MAKE SENSE!!

  15. Coffee says:

    Now at the height of the tourism season Front Street remains empty .

    • Ya, that’s because people want to travel to an inexpensive destination where there is lots of fun.

  16. People actually need to be paid more to purchase healthcare and insurance even with a business the prices all went up due to plp and that crazy health minister they had….then he says don’t pay anyone….strange goings on indeed!

  17. cromwell says:

    This is outrageous. Privatize the BTA immediately get this monkey off the peoples back.

    If its private they can pay themselves what ever they want but it will not cost the Bermuda tax payer anything, and at the same time get the expenses and debt off our books.

    Government can never say no to its self it will always increase its own wages and justify its own existence.

    • Christopher Notorius says:

      You clearly are an idiot if you think it will fund itself.

    • Time Shall Tell says:

      Perhaps better yet would be a panel made up of neutral 3rd party individuals with the reflected background to monitor the performance & cost of the various government departments & the politicians themselves. Wait, that isn’t an original idea is it? It’s just one that hasn’t been set into motion even after being agreed upon….hmmm.

    • Zevon says:

      Privatize things to save money and to manage things better?
      Hmmm, you’re on to something there.
      Let’s make a list. The post office, customs, PTB. There must be civil service jobs that can be privatized.
      Let’s do it.

  18. stunned... says:

    a little late to this post but cannot fathom how the BTA could accept their bonuses in all good conscience.

  19. BornB says:

    Makes no sense ranting and raving about someone who has ALREADY received the bonus and is smiling from ear to ear off the DUMB Bermudians who issued it to them. What you think … that they bonus will be given back because you complained…. be for real… dont care how many people object ….have you not understood yet that whatever government is in place THEY WILL DO AS THEY WISH….. like it or not is the strategy…. They know Bermudians are just noise makers… 2 weeks or less from now, they know it will all be forgotten about. This is why they do what they do. NOISE, NOISE, NOISE…. anyone can deal with noise!!!!