Scott: “Encourage A More Transparent Process”

August 11, 2016

Bermuda can achieve goals “in respect to the airport without giving operational control of both this country’s physical and economic gateway to a company that decided this deal should take place in the first place,” Shadow Transport Minister Lawrence Scott said today.

Mr Scott said, “The need to renovate or rebuild our airport is undisputed. This has never been a question. However, the need to privatize airport operations and operate under a veil of secrecy as a means of achieving this, however, is where the problems arise.

Lawrence Scott Bermuda TC August 11 2016

“Since March 2014, when I tabled a motion calling for the creation of an airport authority, the PLP has sought to provide a more transparent process for improving and managing our facility.

“This authority would have provided the framework by which we can safeguard our assets, properly tender projects, and in the end have an airport, which would not become an indirect financial burden to the next generation.

“Simply put, we have always said we must build something that we can afford, in a way that meets the standards of good governance. As we are realizing more and more, that this project falls short of these goals.

“With a cost of $250 million, this proposed redevelopment is not something that we can afford. Despite this, it has become a major priority for Minister Richards and clearly is held in a higher regard than the more pressing domestic issues we face.

“Surely, with a failing education system and a majority of schools, older than the airport, many believe we should focus our attention and better share our resources amongst other pressing needs.

“The constant dismissal of our concerns, and the line that ‘we don’t know what we are talking about’ has become ineffective, and the people of Bermuda are now becoming more and more aware of the fact that documents from the Canadian government prove we were spot on all along.

“If you are against this deal, like the majority of this population, I am here to tell you what is coming down the pipeline. This is nowhere near a done deal.

“The government still faces two major hurdles to complete this project. One which has been discussed by my colleague, and a second which is a legislative issue.

“According to the airport agreement, Sec 6 & 7, the government plans to deregulate the setting and collecting of fees [i.e. landing fees, airport improvement tax, etc.] and give this authority to Project Co., which can only be controlled by Aecon.

“Achieving this will require the government to table legislation and pass it in both houses of Parliament. This will provide us a last chance to deny to OBA the opportunity to move forward with this deal. If we do not, we will find ourselves with Aecon giving and setting revenue guarantees for airlines.

“Other jurisdictions have been able to build airports that better meet their needs for a fraction of the cost Minister of Finance Bob Richards has quoted us.

“Our opinion is that Bermuda too can achieve its’ goals in respect to the airport without giving operational control of both this country’s physical and economic gateway to a company that decided this deal should take place in the first place.

“As we have many times before, we caution Minister Richards and the Dunkley Administration in moving forward with this deal, and encourage a more transparent process for redevelopment be managed through an apolitical authority to achieve the greatest outcome for the lowest cost possible.”

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Comments (38)

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  1. Terry says:

    Oh for F*&ks sake.
    Define “Transparent”.
    Single family?
    Two Parent?

    Parents who live in Glass Houses?

    This sheet is for the burds.

    Define your comment you moron.

  2. King Jammys says:

    More hot air from the PLP that failed this island and its people. PLP simply do not have the depth from within its ranks to run this country properly with financial prudence. In order for the PLP to win the next election they need to develop realistic sustainable plans for the island’s future financial success.

    • TO KING JAMMYS:
      So sorry that you feel this way. Your point is valid, however,the oba/U.B.P.has definitely demonstrated over and over again, since December 2012, that they are not good politicians. Their track record in monstrously disproportionate to their commitment to this island when they first gained “power”.
      The 2,000 jobs PROMISE is a prime example of this fact.

      • aceboy says:

        Politicians just blow hot air. All of them. PLP are better at doing this, primarily because they have absolutely no shame. We don’t need hot air right now, we need people who know what they are doing and although it hurts can fix the situation. The PLP have nothing but a dream filled plan for a plan that is far too little and way too late.

      • Let us build the airport, and allow Morgam’s Point and The St. George’s Hotel to get off the ground, and we might have 2000 to 5000 jobs created in Bermuda.

  3. hmmm says:

    A more transparent process….

    OK, what was the reason for your suspension?

  4. Not to worry, Scott!!
    Bermudians will not vote for this.It has been 4 years of total craziness. oba will need psychological intervention after the next election.What tyoe of politicians are they?

  5. I mention to Mr. Scott to remain committed, steadfast and vigilant concerning this “party.”

    • Dockyard Lackey says:

      Yeah, right. They partied for 14 years while the rest of Bermuda suffered. Go team PLP.

      • You have it incorrect. Get lost oba/U.B.P., get lost!!!
        The deception and the nonsense is too great for there to be any kudos for this party(oba).
        Like Schwartzneggar’s movie..”TRUE LIES!”

        • Spectator says:

          How bout the movie “We had to deceive you?”

          That was a motion picture lol

          You sound like an bitter old person…

  6. Rolling my eyes says:

    Mr. Scott is asking for transparency….

  7. P.L.Please Themselves says:

    Do we have to remind the PLP of their failed over-budget capital projects every time they make statements pretending to care about the public purse?

  8. bluebird says:

    OH! MR Scott,you are singing again to the choir but the choir keeps getting smaller.
    Just look around Bermuda and you can see the richest population in the World.
    And you did see all the scholarship that have been earned by the hard working young people didn’t you ??????
    According to the UN there is about 850Million people in the world that survive or have to live on $1.90 per day.And that is for everything one needs.
    And OH how transparent the PLP Administration was for the people of Bermuda.
    Yes Sir the PLP did leave $2BILLION DOLLARS in DEBT for the children and Grandchildren of Bermuda,how nice of them.

  9. Build a Better Bermuda says:

    Firstly, we aren’t giving away operational control of our airport, we are entering in a partnership to operate the airport. It is called a PPP (Public Private Partnership)… pay careful attention to the last P. It is the same as the Hospital, there is currently a private company in control of the management of the hospital operations, but only on the plant side of the management. How the hospital deal with patients and its staff is the responsibility of the BHB. This was a setup under the PLP and to we are unable to access much of the negotiated schedules, in fact under the PLP BHB they made sure we couldn’t even have public access to the circumstances of the suspension and resignation of the former CMO, Dr. Thomas.
    Back to the airport, the ultimate final PPP will most likely have a similar framework, with ultimate control of how our airspace is managed falling to the Authority that has been mentioned will be created from what is now the Department of Airport Operations, and AECON will be responsible for managing the physical plant and possibly the commercial aspects.
    What’s even more ridiculous is the assertation that other juristictions have achieved this at a fraction of the cost… I have looked at the cost and in comparison to what was built, and I cannot find any examples of ‘apples to apples’ low cost solutions. In fact we are about right there on the median of what has been done, and the PLP suggestion that we merely need to renovate is a move that would only cost us much more in the long run.
    The airport needs to be replaced, there is really no other option anymore. Only one company took the initiative to propose an option for what the Minister set out in his budget over a year ago, and to date, no one else has either. This project has been done with more transparency than any other project in government capital project history, and the only reason it can’t be more transparent is the same reason no one else would be able to offer more transparency in such negotiations, standard commercial contract negotiations at this high level, require NDA’s. If the PLP think they can offer more transparency in such negotiations, they we will never have a new airport built. The PLP’s criticisms of privatizing the airport is especially hypocritical, since that is one of the ideas that even Mr. Burt put out during the PLP admin, and the OBA have been planning to create an airport authority even before CCC entered the picture (same thing that the PLP have proposed to do as well). We are not going to lose out over a $1b, that sort of misinforming mathematics is why Mr. Burt doesn’t deserve to be the Minister of Finance, because either he knows just how misinforming such statements are, and is willing to make them to mislead people from the truth (in which case with such deliberate dishonesty, I don’t want him near our public purse) or he truly believes that we are going to lose over a $1b, in which case if he is unable to the most basic of financial mathematics as removing expenditures from revenues, I don’t want him any where near our public purse. Lastly, tendering does not in any way guarantee we will get value for money, every government capital project prior to now is evidence of this. The only sure guarantee will be in a well defined construction build to contract, and having an independent reviewer and the U.K. checking it before it can be signed certainly offers greater protection than anything the PLP have suggested so far.

  10. Kevin says:

    I can only hope that there are only a few people in this country who still feel the PLP are the party that should be governing us.Scott and the rest have finally found that never ending money tree, we are saved. Get real you didn’t have a clue when you were in power and you still don’t. As it concerns the OBA well no not everything is golden but they are making tough decisions so you are not going to please everyone but you have stopped the bleeding and actually the mending has started.

  11. Point boy says:

    How’s the job search working out for you dude?

  12. Edmund Spenser says:

    They seem to forget that most, if not all, of the lower cost solutions involve using majority foreign labor and that this is a cheaper alternative than the PLP proposal.

  13. OH, KEVIN:
    If you think that the P.L.P. were clueless, this crazy oba/U.B.P. are borderline lunatics, possessing LESS than an inkling of a clue.

    • Ironic says:

      The “lunatics” in the OBA are getting on with hotel developments (meaning more jobs), increasing tourist arrivals (more jobs and income for Bermudians), getting on with a new airport (more jobs), reducing the deficit and generally turning the economy around as seen by the various financial indicators. All this in 4 years while being hamstrung by the PLP debt and economic decline they inherited. The PLP did/does not have a clue. Their solution in the latter years was to waste money on vanity projects & parties – which we very quickly came to see does not fly in the real world. Based on their current track record I’d take my chances with the OBA lunatics for another term, before letting the clueless PLP back in to halt the recovery.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      That would be the borderline lunatics that brought us out of recession and have greatly reduced the crippling deficit that nearly sunk government’s ability to operate and would have resulted us in being sold to a foreign creditor like the IMF; in comparison to your sane and ‘not clueless’ party that were responsible for putting us so far into those positions to begin with and allowed the train of unemployment to run full steam down the track that it’s taken nearly 4 years to stop it

      • aceboy says:

        Tourism on the rise too.

        The PLP would sink tis country if they get back into power with the people they have now.

  14. takbir Sharrieff says:

    Interistingly enough the best people on both sides of the fence are ,,,,,,,the critics,,,,,,they are the voters.The make mistakes too,they vote the Inappropriate Government ,in every time.We are all in this together and we all have egg on our faces ,and in some cases,,,,,,,sh…..t on our shoes.But we pick ourselves up again and swear to try and get it right ,,,,,,next time.That is the cut and thrust of ,,,,,,,,Politics.The important thing is that ,we do get back up and try again.Peace.

  15. Mary says:

    Marraige equality did not cost us anything and the unprogressive anti equality PLP Failed us on that also

  16. Ringmaster says:

    The best way to have a new airport terminal built is to have the Chinese construct it. See all the new works in Jamaica as an example. It will be on price and on time. Likely to cost less too. Unfortunately that will never happen as they bring in their own labour, and the BIU/People’s Campaign/PLP will be out in force to block it.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      You really don’t want to use China as an example… they actually own that stretch of highway in Jamaica that is tolled, and initially nobody could afford to use it. The Chinese get to decide who build along it, and control the leasing of the land along it and those revenues. That and several other projects by China like hotels in the Carribean have seen the Chinese effectively bring in a Chinese work force to do the work, putting them up in imported container cities. The point of this process is to make sure we still have ownership (even if it is in partnership, ie. the Project Co) and to make sure Bermudians are employed in the construction.

  17. Its me again says:

    I dont understand why comments are made about how bad the PLP were as a government. This article is about a current airport project that most of the island doesnt understand and we arent being given enough information on. Thats a fact. Why arent any comments outraged that we are literally giving away hundreds of millions of dollars. We only care that the PLP were a bad government. We dont care to hold the currebt government accountable. Lets hope this airport deal is worth it, if my son has to foot the bill for a project that a bunch of well off politicians screwed up we will both become citizens of another country and let what ever bermudians are left to deal with the bill.

    • My People, My People says:

      Can someone please explain HOW we are giving away Millions of Dollars? Can someone also outline an alternative plan for the airport?

      The OBA has done a poor job handling its PR. The issues they’ve faced have been difficult but they MUST do better!

      That said, the PLP do not have the ability to lead this country. The current group lack financial experience, a clear plan to move us forward and (some) integrity.

      Party preferences aside: Could anyone HONESTLY say they are the best choice for Bermuda right now? Honestly???

      • My People, My People says:

        “They” meaning the PLP.

      • Its me again says:

        None of that is what Im saying.

        You actually proved my point.

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          Still need to answer how we are giving away hundreds of millions of dollars. It is going to cost a couple hundred million dollars to build it, no matter who does the building, and that cost has to be paid back some how. As a Public Private Partnership, it means that effectively the Private has a say in how it is run with the Public so that the Private that paid for it can be assured that the monies it generates can be used to pay back the Private. As the Private is the one taking the risk on to build it for the contracted price, so if the is overruns, they have to pay for that while not being able to charge those overruns back to the Public unless the Public was the party that incurred those overruns through out of contract changes. This isn’t a $1b give away, because the Private will only be eligible for the contract terms of payment amounts, and the airport would never generate a $1b for any party over the contract duration, because expenditures have to be paid out first; and this is how the PLP (and in particular Mr. Burt) have taken a truth and effectively warped it into a lie with their presentation of the deal.

    • aceboy says:

      Because the PP spokesman is suggesting transparency. None of which we saw when they were in power. NONE.

  18. Dependent says:

    More gibberish from the least transparent.

  19. Mary says:

    Another divisive person lined up to divide the country while they get on the gravy train a bs a paycheck and pension smh
    NB: call in sick again