Dunkley: “Steady Increase In Paid Consultants”

June 17, 2018 | 16 Comments

Following confirmation that the Government’s fintech advisor Loretta Joseph is paid $20,000 per month and a local firm was hired for a short term consultancy costing $22,000, Shadow Minister Michael Dunkley said the “OBA has noted a steady increase in the number of paid consultants under the PLP” and a “number of them are unbudgeted and many have lucrative contract terms.”

These numbers were stated in the House of Assembly as Minister of National Security Wayne Caines responded to Parliamentary Questions from Shadow Minister of National Security Michael Dunkley.

Audio extract of the exchange:

Mr Dunkley said, “During the Friday June 15th session of Parliament, the OBA asked questions regarding consultants in the Ministry, their remuneration and scope of work.

“The OBA has noted a steady increase in the number of paid consultants under the PLP. Within the Ministry there are at least 18 consultants, a number of them are unbudgeted and many have lucrative contract terms. For example the Government fintech advisor is paid $20,000 per month. In addition it was learned the Minister now has a Special Aide.

“The answer to the first question revealed that the firm Brand Lion has been hired for a short term consultancy costing $22,000 to do public consultancy and marketing management in regards to fintech. The Minister when questioned admitted the item was not budgeted.

“This is another lucrative contract and if it had not been for the questions asked by the OBA this information would not be public knowledge.

“The taxpayer funds the Department of Communication with significant funding of over $3 million to support and promote government policy and have the mission statement of being the source of trusted communication between the Government, public service and residents of Bermuda using media and technology to educate and inform. They are very professional and capable.

Tweets on the matter by Mr Dunkley:

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“The fintech initiative has been talked about by the PLP for some time and the 2018/19 Budget was under their full control. The OBA questions why DCI has not been tasked with the responsibility to handle this initiative.

“The OBA will support all good initiatives to help our people but will never fail to ask questions and hold the Government to account. The burden of taxation is onerous on many in Bermuda and it is the responsibility of the Government to spend the funds wisely knowing we still have a serious debt issue.

“Finally, while the Minister admitted that some of the consultants were not included in the budgeted he also said that to fund them he would cut and trim the budget as required and there would be no supplementary estimates.

“While this is laudable, it should be noted that some services that were actually included in the budget might not be available due to the budget being used for consultants,” Mr Dunkley concluded.

Some of the 18 consultants at the Ministry of National Security have been employed as consultants for years the House of Assembly heard, with at least four for 6 years and five for 2 – 5 years, with those consultancy contracts mostly relating to police work with job tasks listed as matters including “cold case reviewer”, “financial investigation” and “intelligence analyst.”

The fintech consultants started this year; the term for the  fintech advisor contract was stated as from February 2018 – August 2018, while the fintech public relations contract is for two months, starting in April and ending in June, and Gang Violence Reduction Coordinator Pastor Leroy Bean, who started late last year, is also listed as a consultant within the Ministry.

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Comments (16)

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  1. smh says:

    Here we go again. Same old PLP same old Col. Burch with DREB still pulling the strings. Two Bermuda’s is right.

  2. Onion says:

    Blowing through budgets is exactly how they got in trouble last time. The Unions should be protesting since it’s their members who won’t get a pension.

  3. puzzled says:

    The sea level is not the only thing rising.

    Get out whilst you can.

  4. Question says:

    A few months ago Burt was telling that unbudgeted expenditures were ‘irresponsible’.
    Now he’s doing it and not telling us.
    What a raging hypocrite.

  5. drunken ursula says:

    oh please, where were all those questions you ask now , during the OBA tenure?? Michael D be careful what you ask Ray Charlton (talking) and its not sour grapes1

  6. Really says:

    Same old PLP they never learn. If Burt continues with allowing Burch to spew likes he does goes to show Burt is no better. Burch should not allow tax payers money to fix the wall at SCC anyway. Who is he to give away our money. Let SCC fix the wall themselves where is the clubs money some spent it unwisely like the current government does. They hacked up the fee for a sot at Cupmatch we’ll use the extra $$ to fix your wall.

  7. we had to deceive you... says:

    What else do you expect from the party who said we had a bad airport deal- to get elected, and then wasted our money to find out it was a great deal, but not want to admit it- even though internationally the deal was given an award by an unbiased body!
    The PLP has been taking lessons from Donald Trump and every other populist government out in the world. Which in reality is how some came into power: put on a show of anger that gets other people like you angry, and then noone is paying attention, as their hate and anger is increased and reason goes out the door.
    Sadly. most of the people that the PLP claims to protect; but the PLP electorate also say “here is our money”! They think its fine because they have been told the money really belongs to certain types, when it is coming out of their collective pockets to fill the pockets of friends and family of the PLP.

  8. Warrior says:

    Workers won’t get pension and we are going to have to rely on ankle express or pedal bikes or call in sick. Children will miss school, seniors will miss medical appointments as there will be no Gov’t operated transportation. Are all ferries operating?

  9. Rockfish#1and#2 says:

    Spending our money like drunken sailors!
    We have been hoodwinked and bamboozled far worse under this Government than the previous one.

  10. aceboy says:

    Someone has to actually do the work while the ministers preen.

    Same old same old

  11. Kathy Cervino says:

    Dunkley, let’s not forget:

    The first day of an OBA Government gave Bermuda a larger 13 member Cabinet. Any savings which may had been made by salary reductions had been wiped out as Government Ministers hired personal consultants.

    As if that wasn’t bad enough, when Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell was questioned by the media he refused to comment on the cost of his personal consultant and refused to disclose the details of his work.

    Oh, and let’s not forget that the former Government spent $3.5 million on airport consultants and kept it secret!

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Umm, if, as you say, “the former Government spent $3.5 million on airport consultants and kept it secret” how did you learn of it?

    • Question says:

      Are unbudgeted expenditures irresponsible or not? Yes or no.

    • Double S says:

      And yet the PLP’s current cabinet is larger and more expensive. And Mr. Crockwell’s former advisor is now a current advisor to the PLP.

      Facts hurt don’t they Kathy?

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