Derrick Burgess Responds To Auditor’s Report

March 10, 2016

MP Derrick Burgess — the former Minister of Works and Engineering — has addressed what he said was a “number of inaccurate and misleading statements” in the Auditor General’s Report, saying it “is important to set the record straight.”

Part of the introduction of Mr Burgess’ response to the Auditor General’s report on the Consolidated Fund for the Financial Years 2010, 2011 and 2012  says, ”Whilst the Auditor General is undoubtedly correct with respect to many of her conclusions, it is my submission that some, as they relate to the Ministry of Works and Engineering where I served as Minister from December 2007 to November 2011 reflect bias, a lack of fairness, careless preparation, inaccuracy and resulting ill-founded or altogether erroneous conclusions.”

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On the topic of the Commercial Courts/Ministry of Finance Renovations, the response says, “Upon receiving a Contract Award Recommendation that the construction of the new Commercial Courts and the renovation and expansion of Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Headquarters be approved for $2,334,000, I did ‘interfere’.

“I believed that the ‘Rolls Royce’ refurbishment proposed was too elaborate and directed that the tender documents be modified and the job re-tendered.

“I did not wish to see unwarranted spending of Government funds. As a result of my ‘interference’, Cabinet approved a Contract Award Recommendation in the amount of $1,696,553.18, thereby effecting a savings of some $637,446.82 to the Bermuda taxpayer.

“As Minister of Works and Engineering I was committed to a reduction in spending, given the existing economic environment. I therefore offer for consideration by Honorable Members other instances where my ‘interference’ resulted in significant savings for Government.”

As far as the demolition of former Club Med Hotel in St. George’s, Mr Burgess said, “Upon learning of the $20,000,000 TAF for the demolition of the former Club Med, St. George’s, I did ‘interfere’. I recommended that the building be removed via implosion rather than via the more traditional means.

“As a result of my ‘interference’, the demolition of the facility on 25th August, 2008 cost approximately $13,000,000, thereby effecting a savings of some $7,000,000 to the Bermuda taxpayer.”

Addressing the Cockburn Bridge in Sandys, Mr Burgess said, “Upon hearing that Ministry of Works and Engineering technical officers had projected that the cost of a replacement Cockburn Bridge would be in the region of $8,000,000, I did ‘interfere’.

“As a result of my ‘interference’, the replacement bridge in 2009 cost $1,184,994.99, thereby effecting a savings of just under $7,000,000 to the Bermuda taxpayer.”

The full response from Mr Burgess to the Auditor General’s report follows below [PDF here]:

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Comments (39)

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  1. Yahoo says:

    So this audit report was released near the end of 2014 and it took Burgess 14+ months to respond? I know he is slow but…

    • Charlie says:

      I’m not sure that any of these examples are savings to the taxpayer.

      They all appear to be looking at rip off quotes and coming up with a cheaper way to achieve the same thing….

      …. I would refer to that as ‘doing his job’.

      How many of these rip-off things didn’t get slashed down and went through at the inflated mates rates?

      • hmmm says:

        I can’t believe it cost 13,000,000.00 Dollars to knock down the Club Med….that is ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous.

        This is how much it should to implode a much bigger hotel building and in an area with close proximity buildings.

        How much does it cost to implode a building:

        http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-33494787

        • hmmm says:

          For those that do not look at the link

          The project to demolish the massive multi-story Park Avenue Hotel in a controlled explosion cost $898,000

  2. Happy says:

    here come the excuses now, after the fact how long later? someone’s boots are shaking

    • Toleratate says:

      Agreed, first Zane Desilva now Derrick Burgess. Who will be next to step up making their excuses before the findings are released.
      Stay tuned.

  3. Jus' Askin' says:

    PLP truly needs to come clean and investigate all the points presented by the AG!!! Hold ALL those that are GUILTY of WRONG doings ACCOUNTABLE. NO one can convince me everything was above board with the handling of the PUBLIC PURSE!!!

    Until they come with the TRUTH I really don’t want to hear them ;-)

  4. Widget says:

    I am sure the truth will all come out when the commission reports there findings.

  5. GTA says:

    Sounds like what he calls ‘interference’ is what other people would call ‘doing your job as minister’. There are always more expensive ways of doing things, especially in construction, but you can not claim finding the most cost effective solution as an actual savings when compared to more robust and expensive options. The club med building could have been demolished by hand, piece by piece, and costs 100′s of millions of dollars to complete. But you can not argue that by not doing it by hand you effectively saved the tax payer 100′s of millions of dollars, by choosing the cost effective cheaper solution.

    • George says:

      GTA its quite simple – there are things called Financial Instructions which regulate how, when and where Government officials can spend the tax payers money. Derrick Burgess and other Ministers and senior civil servants are being accused, by the Auditor General, as having breached those Financial Instructions. No matter how you spin it, if the Minister did not follow those instructions, or abused his position of power (he has admitted as much in this article by stating he ‘interfered’ in the decision making process) then he needs to be held accountable. Its quite simple really, you break the law (financial instructions in this case)then you need to be prosecuted accordingly, regardless of your intentions (whether you believe you are Robin Hood or not)!

      • hmmm says:

        This is where the rubber meets the road. Feeble failures to mitigate accountability are shameful.

        Its a disgrace !

  6. Franklin Jr says:

    Accountants don’t really tend to care about politics Derrick

    • Franklin Jr says:

      Before anyone gets their shorts in a twist, I’d like to amend the above with “when it comes to their professional opinion”

  7. smh says:

    Getting nervous Derrick? Well you should be… that’s why you have been singled out. Bermuda wants our money back.

  8. aceboy says:

    Yea Derrick. The trained Auditor did not understand that your “interference” saved us lots of money, that is why she flagged it as a serious issue.

    What a crock. Can’t wait to hear what the Auditor says in response. As usual it will no doubt shut you up for a few more months.

  9. San George says:

    Tip of the iceberg – these are the ones he claims to have caught. The blaming begins. Not my fault; his fault. The entire commission is a joke. All of you are in the HoA for yourselves. It’s no wonder none of you have to work after leaving the House.

    Shame on you. Said time for Bermuda.

  10. jt says:

    I’m sure Mr. Burgess fully supports the COI….so that the record can be set straight.

  11. Bullseye says:

    Burgess is twitching….

  12. Lois Frederick says:

    I believe he will have more than enough opportunity to address any perceived discrepancies whilst appearing before the COI.

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

    Yah right…SAVINGS!? Yah right!!!!He doth protest too much!!!! I’m smelling something and it ain’t my top lip!!!!!

  14. reason says:

    isnt the PLP in favour of this commission of inquiry? why have him and zane come out saying something different?

  15. archy says:

    Sounds rather like getting excuses in first …

  16. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    So where did all the saved money go then? LOL….jus’ wonderin!

  17. steve says:

    I would like to take this moment to personally thank you Mr Burgess along with your Government for saving Bermuda a pack of tax payers money on construction projects-Your the Best! I find myself laughing and then crying almost daily.

  18. Unbelievable says:

    See those protestors protesting immigration and same sex marriage? They should be protesting this guy, his PLP colleagues and the fact that the Auditor General came out with such a scathing report.

  19. Terry says:

    That’s why we are have all these protests, marches, work stoppages …….

    Wonder what king of strike the MP’s and contractors will employ………..
    The writing is on the wall and it ain’t Scauer Hill………………………….

  20. Bermyman says:

    Just Google , Burgess, Bermuda, Government, LEDs – will give you an idea of the level of the well rehearsed denial veteran.

  21. Frank says:

    $13 million to demolish the clubmed building and truck down the street to the airport dump Wow.

    • Terry says:

      Friends and family made a killing on that 13 Million.

  22. Let there be hope says:

    In all fairness Mr. Burgess, if you are going to mention the jobs you saved money, why don’t you mention the one you went way over on.

  23. Bermudian says:

    Sorry Burgess, you don`t qualify to even speak on this matter after what you and yours did to Bermuda!

  24. 235 says:

    I want to know how Richards is going to explain his flagrant issues with Financial Instructions regarding the Airport project.

  25. Long bay trading says:

    Derek. Just. Give. Bermuda it’s money back.
    Plain and simple.

  26. North Rock says:

    The real indictment is evidenced by the lack of the normal PLP/BIU bloggers….talk about being left to swing in the breeze !

  27. I thank-you for all the savings you did for the country. But what the hell happened with the spending ? You let that fly right out the window. WHY??????

  28. stunned... says:

    i am sure everything was legit with a tendering process (like he wants for the airport)and none of the bids was grossly inflated. none.

  29. Pookie Boo says:

    boy oh boy the shoes are starting to get tight and squeak

  30. Pete says:

    The lightbulb minister squeaks

  31. In all honesty, there were certain projects handled by specific ministries that systematically had over runs. It was wrong for the government to allow PS’s to over see job sites. Problems were designed, if not allowed in order for there to be massive over runs and change orders. Something is wrong when the change orders cost more than the original bid. WE SAVED ALOT, BUT SPENT FAR, FAR TOO MUCH. Sir, but you would never agree to that.