Commission Of Inquiry Members Announced

February 24, 2016

[Updated with video] Sir Anthony Evans, John Barritt, Kumi Bradshaw, and Fiona Luck will sit on the Commission of Inquiry, Premier Michael Dunkley announced today, adding that the Commission will start its work on April 1st.

In December of last year, the Premier announced that a Commission of Inquiry will be formed “to investigate the issues raised” in the Report of the Auditor General.

The Auditor General’s report on the Government’s Consolidated Fund for the years ended March 31, 2010, 2011 and 2012 included information on instances of overspending, expenditures not having the required Cabinet approval, contracts not being tendered, duplicate payments being made and other issues pertaining to tens of millions of dollars.

John Barritt, Commission Chairman Sir Anthony Evans, Premier, Kumi Bradshaw. Missing from photo is Fiona Luck who is off the island

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Speaking at today’s briefing the Premier said, “Last December I announced Government’s intention to establish a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the findings of the Auditor General’s Report on the Consolidated Fund for the Financial Years 2010, 2011 and 2012.

“At the time, I stressed Government’s grave concern with the report’s findings – a concern that has been echoed throughout the community. The report described serious problems of accountability and control in the administration of the public purse.

“The most serious area of concern was government failure to obey its own Financial Instructions, which exist to impose financial controls consistent with international best practice and uphold principles of accountability, value for money, fairness and transparency. Because of these and other findings, I deemed it necessary as Premier to enact a Commission of Inquiry.”

The 17-minute video of the full press conference

“The Government has great confidence in the Commission’s ability to fulfil its mandate as outlined in the Terms of Reference, and we have taken care to ensure its independence throughout the process,” added Premier Dunkley.

“The next steps for the Commission will be to assemble its own counsel, which will be appointed by the Chairman. The Commission will have the power to summon witnesses, examine them under oath and call for the production of documents.

“Before closing, it is important to stress that if we are to continue to uphold and protect standards of governance that serve the public interest, then we need to address issues that challenge those standards as they arise. This is the rationale behind the formation of this Commission of Inquiry.”

Update 7.47pm: Opposition Leader Marc Bean said, “The PLP acknowledges today’s appointees to the Commission of Inquiry. It is our sincerest hope that the Commissioners will be provided with sufficient time and resources to conduct an in-depth and thorough inquiry.

“Bermudians need to know that our civil servants, elected officials or Government Ministers have not acted either unethically or illegally, but also that no one is above the law.

“We repeat our call for the passage of Good Governance legislation which would broaden the definition of corruption, and institute tougher penalties for those found engaged in corruption. We pledge our full support and cooperation with this process.”

The Premier’s full remarks follow below

Good morning:

Last December I announced Government’s intention to establish a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the findings of the Auditor General’s Report on the Consolidated Fund for the Financial Years 2010, 2011 and 2012.

At the time, I stressed Government’s grave concern with the report’s findings – a concern that has been echoed throughout the community. The report described serious problems of accountability and control in the administration of the public purse.

The most serious area of concern was government failure to obey its own Financial Instructions, which exist to impose financial controls consistent with international best practice and uphold principles of accountability, value for money, fairness and transparency.

Because of these and other findings, I deemed it necessary as Premier to enact a Commission of Inquiry.

The Commission is being formed under the authority of the recently amended Commission of Inquiry Act 1935 and, after several weeks of careful planning to ensure all the elements were in place, I am pleased this morning to introduce the members of the Commission.

They are:

  • Commission Chairman Sir Anthony Evans
  • Lawyer the Hon John Barritt, JP
  • Businessman Mr. Kumi Bradshaw, and
  • Businesswoman Ms. Fiona Luck.

The Commission will start its work on April 1st.

Before then, the Commissioners will be sworn in and take an Oath under the Act.

I’d like now to talk briefly about each of these individuals and their qualifications and experience for this important and challenging inquiry:

Sir Anthony Evans is a former Chief Justice of the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts. He has extensive experience as an arbitrator with particular emphasis on international commercial arbitration. Before being appointed as judge, Sir Anthony practiced as a barrister, specializing in commercial cases. He became Queen’s Counsel in 1971 and a Recorder of the Crown Court in 1972.

From 1984 until 1992, Sir Anthony was a High Court Judge in England and Wales, where he regularly sat in the Commercial Court. Sir Anthony was Lord Justice of Appeal in London from 1992 until his retirement in 2000. Sir Anthony is quite familiar with Bermuda, having served from 2003 to 2014 as a member of our Court of Appeal. Currently he is the Chairman of the Dubai World Tribunal.

The Hon. John Barritt JP is certainly no stranger to you. He has had an incredibly distinguished career as a litigator and parliamentarian. He joined MJM Limited in 2004 as a Consultant Attorney following his retirement as a partner from the law firm Appleby Spurling & Kempe.

Over the course of his legal career, Mr. Barritt has specialized in criminal, civil and commercial litigation. He has appeared before the Courts of Bermuda at every level and, for various periods of time, served as an Acting Magistrate. Mr. Barritt is also a former member of the Bermuda Legislature, having served as an elected Member of Parliament in the House of Assembly from 1993 until 2011.

Mr. Barritt is widely recognized as a keen proponent of political and parliamentary reform and continues to advocate for reform and good governance.
Mr. Kumi Bradshaw is a Certified Business Appraiser and Business Valuator Accredited for Litigation. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Dalhousie University and an MBA from Babson College.

Mr. Bradshaw is the President of Firm Advisory Ltd., a company that provides its clients with advice on making better business value decisions. Prior to his role with Firm Advisory Ltd., Mr. Bradshaw operated an independent business appraisal practice from 2007 to 2011. His experience includes assisting clients across a breadth of industries with advice on business purchase/sale transactions, shareholder disputes, litigation, economic damages and estate planning.

Rounding out the Commission is Ms. Fiona Luck.

Ms. Luck served as Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff at XL Group plc from June 2006 until June 2009 and then as Special Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer until January 2010. From 1999 to 2006, she served in various roles at XL, including as Executive Vice President of Group Operations and Interim Chief Financial Officer.

Ms. Luck is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Gen Life Ltd and Gen Two Ltd., and a member of the board of the Bermuda Monetary Authority, where she serves on its Audit & Risk Management Committee, its Human Capital Committee and its Non-Executive Directors Committee.

Ms. Luck previously served on the board of directors of Catlin Group Ltd from August 2012 until its merger with XL in May 2015 where she was Chair of the Compensation Committee and a member of the Audit, Investment and Nomination Committees. Ms. Luck is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.

This is a high-calibre Commission with extensive legal, financial and governance experience.

The Commission will operate under the following Terms of Reference:

  • Identify breaches of Financial Instructions and how they arose;
  • Consider the adequacy of safeguards and the system of accountability;
  • Make recommendations to prevent recurrences and to mitigate financial, operational and reputational risks;
  • Refer any evidence of possible criminal activity, which the Commission may identify, to the Director of Public Prosecutions or the Police; and
  • Draw to the attention of the Minister of Finance and the Attorney General any scope, which the Commission may identify, to secure recompense under the Public Treasury Act, including Financial Instructions, and Civil Asset Recovery.

The Government has great confidence in the Commission’s ability to fulfil its mandate as outlined in the Terms of Reference, and we have taken care to ensure its independence throughout the process.

The next steps for the Commission will be to assemble its own counsel, which will be appointed by the Chairman. The Commission will have the power to summon witnesses, examine them under oath and call for the production of documents.

Before closing, it is important to stress that if we are to continue to uphold and protect standards of governance that serve the public interest, then we need to address issues that challenge those standards as they arise. This is the rationale behind the formation of this Commission of Inquiry.

In closing, I want thank each of these individuals for agreeing to serve in this matter of national importance.

Thank you.

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Comments (49)

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  1. bluwater says:

    Well, well, well.

    About time.

  2. wahoo says:

    Oh I forgot about this…..

    • jt says:

      That’s what all the recent hooplah was designed for. Expect much more.

      • I could have not said it better, “jt” Now lets get crackin’ u’lot!

        • In quoting Premier Michael Dunkley: “A bull in a hurry can’t make a calf”
          Please gentlemen, dot all the “i’s” and cross all the “t,s” so you may get to the bottom of this “overdue” investigation i.e. “Auditor General’s Report on the Consolidated Funds for the Financial Years 2010, 2011 and 2012″

  3. Jus' Askin' says:

    This is what we’ve ALL been waiting for :-D

    Getting the popcorn ready ;-)

    • Family Man says:

      Sorry, its a private showing only. At best, you’ll get a summary when its all over.

    • Its me again says:

      But no commission of inquiry for the land grab

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

        Sure we could do that for ya!…as soon as you come up with every single written document from those days to prove your case…I’m sure they’ll be waiting to hear from you.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        Please cite the instances you’re referring to . Ones where people lost their property to dishonest lawyers , bankers or family members .

        Not ones where they were compensated at or above market value .

      • Jus' Wonderin' says:

        Like it really keeps you up at night…

      • Common Sense says:

        Which one? The ‘land grab’ for the lands now called the City of Hamilton taken from the farmers and householders who owned it? The ‘land grab’ for all the properties at Prospect taken over by the British Garrison? The ‘land grab’ for all the Islands and properties taken from St. David’s Islanders to be used as a U.S. Military Base and now used as our airport? What benefit did Bermuda gain from all of the so-called ‘land grabs’ and were the former landowners adequately compensated at market value for losing their lands? Surely, if we do one we do them all – and who pays?

        • JUNK YARD DOG says:

          ADOLF HITLER’S “U BOATS ” WERE OUT SIDE YOUR BACK DOOR.

          BERMUDA WAS THE PRIZE.

          N.O.B. was used for a German P.O.W. interment camp

          Did you not learn any thing in school.

          Mummy ! will the bombs fall again tonight ?

      • Family Man says:

        Are you talking about the Bermuda Cement Co or the CoCo Reef lease? Or the White’s Island 21 year less a day lease or the Hamilton Waterfront?

      • aceboy says:

        You mean the PLP SDO?

  4. San George says:

    Waste of time. Ministers decide, civil servants advise. No protocol for imposing punishment on ministers of civil servants. Can’t punish good intentions.

    Quo Fata Ferunt

    • bluwater says:

      Some one wrote some double checks and someone signed and cashed them knowing they were improper. That certainly can be punished.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      Your last point is where you fell off, as the report highlights, much of what was being done, was being done with anything but good intentions.

    • Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

      BnB…Big Ballaz…won’t be touched.

    • bluwater says:

      Well then, let’s hear that at an inquiry. Simple as that.

  5. paperboy says:

    Very impressive group of individuals. They are a courageous lot stepping into this issue on behalf of Bermuda – thank you.

    Looking forward to them reporting out to our Bermuda community on their findings. I do hope they are able to help us move towards much better governance practices from our political leaders and civil service.

    All refunds and reimbursements are welcomed.

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

    This point here: “Refer any evidence of possible criminal activity, which the Commission may identify, to the Director of Public Prosecutions or the Police; and”
    I bet anyone a million dollars right now that this will NEVER EVER HAPPEN!!!

    • What a waste of time says:

      This will be like the JETGATE report with Craig, another waste of fing film. The OBA will not provide the report to the public. history repeats.

      • James Rego says:

        @What a waste of time
        JetGate did not cost the public one cent, nada!
        But tell us; how’s the Black Mayors conference coming along? And when will we get the $250,000 back?

  7. “The Commission will have the power to summon witnesses, examine them under oath and call for the production of documents.” This should ensure that any corruption, corrupt civil servants or ministers gets exposed. Nothing like testifying under oath knowing that lying carries a most serious penalty.

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

    Every minute of this investigation should be aired LIVE on CITV. Therefore NO assumptions or wild delirious accusations can be made about its discovery. This inquiry is about MY money and excuse me for saying mine it’s also some of YOURS too. .IF you’re a tax payer that is.

    Sometimes I wonder who bitches the most…The tax payer or the ones trying to recieve it.

    • rhonda says:

      Oh sorry, your talking about the two checks found in a government file cabinet, altered to frame two sitting Ministers of corruption.

    • rhonda says:

      Didn’t the government already say it won’t be public interviews.

  9. Balanced Facts says:

    You really think the Commission will somehow get evidence that he Police don’t already have? Thats the most ridiculous part of the mandate. Constitutionally only the DPP can bring prosecutions and the Police are the authority for gathering evidence, not an expensive Commission. They will write a nice report telling us something should be done…”The Something Should be Done ” Commission. There, saved us a whole bunch of money, you can go home now!

    • Commissions in many jurisdictions have proven to be far more effective than conventional investigative practices. That is the purpose of going this route.

    • wahoo says:

      The police always keep things confidential but wouldn’t a commission at the very least have to make their findings public?

      We the people want to know! Where is the damn money?

      Are you with me PEOPLE?

  10. Triangle Drifter says:

    April 1st!!!!!

  11. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    The truth always comes to the light regardless of how people hid it…

  12. mmm says:

    With the Housing Corporation, in spite of frank disclosures and obvious waste and theft, on;y one person was sent to prison, and the public purse was out by quite a lot of money. Thus our senior citizens and other disadva ntaged groups, handicapped, mentally challenged, schools etc have suffered and continue to suffer cause there is no firm accountability . I can accept some waste and miscalculations, but when you have trained and experienced accountants, lawyers, surveyors, bankers, then the loss should not amount to millions upon millions. Such a loss is equivalent to giving the key to the hen house to the fox. Every government worker/civil servant must work to a certain level of efficiency or be terminated, it would happen in the private sector. Will an attempt be made to appease the wider community ? And will parties responsible for gross negligence be required to re-imburse the public purse ?

  13. Wow says:

    I hope they name, shame and discipline all guilty persons!

  14. jahstice says:

    Will the Port Royal Project be investigated?

  15. DUNKLEY….. the most evil of them all.

    Will there a current inquiry on him?? It sure is needed!!!!

  16. OXO says:

    I wonder if some shoes just got real tight and bail out plans are being put into action. I trust this will NOT become a race issue and a party vs party issue rather than lets get to the bottom of this for once and all, reclaim what ever we can and fix any wrongs committed so it doesn’t ver happen again. It would appear to be a stellar committee at the least

  17. INQUIRY MINDS WANT KNOW says:

    An inquiry into the racists practices of the UBP/OBA is really what is needed.

    How did the 40 Thieves manage to continue this overt racism – which still negatively impacts our society today.

    There is no denying that :- Most whites are better off
    Most blackes are worst off

    We see it around us everyday –

    And I am a white bermudian born and bred – who is not blind to this reality in Bermuda

    • Barnacle says:

      Wow, you really should have taken advantage of your education opportunities. You seem to be living in a dream world while blaming others. Do tell us about the so called 40 thieves.

    • Herb says:

      Maybe you should educate yourself by reading the 2010 Census on who is making the most money in the middle to upper class range

  18. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    Bermuda has no alternative but to get it right.

    Mathematics is an absolute pure science !

    The whole world and every lawyer and Accountant in creation will be watching this one.

  19. moonbeam says:

    – very capable commission members who should ‘ bare the facts’ !

  20. John E. Thorne says:

    I am surprised neither Ewart, Paula or Zane are on the commission?

    • Navin Pooty Tang Johnson says:

      why if they are being investigated?

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Fox in the henhouse. The last 2 people who should be on it.

  21. TravelingTreeFrog says:

    Are we paying these ppl for this?