Airport Redevelopment Entrustment Letter Tabled

November 28, 2014

[Updated] In the House of Assembly today [Nov 28], Minister of Finance Bob Richards tabled the Entrustment Letter from the United Kingdom for Bermuda to contract the Canadian Commercial Corporation [CCC] to redevelop part of the airport.

Minister Richards said, ” Mr. Speaker, in my Ministerial Statement on November 21 confirmed that the Government has received the appropriate Entrustment Letter from Her Majesty’s Government in the UK for Bermuda to contract with the CCC to redevelop the airport.

“This was despite the fact that a recent legal opinion established that a separate Entrustment was not necessary.

“In accordance with Government’s commitment to transparency and in reporting to Parliament, I am today tabling this Entrustment Letter.

“I can advise Honourable members that the Government is currently in discussions with the Governor on the terms and conditions specified in the Entrustment Letter and the Government commits to update this Honourable House on the outcome of these discussions in due course.”

The Progressive Labour Party has raised concerns about the airport contract, and will be hosting a Town Hall meeting to discuss it on Tuesday, December 2 at Francis Patton School. You can view all our coverage of the airport redevelopment project here.

The official UK Parliament website said:

Territories will sometimes want to negotiate and conclude an agreement with a sovereign state or an international organisation where there is no existing UK treaty or similar instrument.

In the UK treaty making is part of the Royal Prerogative in matters of foreign affairs. The Crown’s representative in an Overseas Territory is the Governor. It is, accordingly, for the Crown to confer upon the Governor the necessary capacity to conclude a treaty.

In practice this means that, on the authority of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Governor is formally entrusted with the power to conclude the treaty in question for his Territory. This is generally known as giving the Governor an “entrustment”.

Nowadays however entrustments are sometimes given directly to the Government of a Territory to negotiate and conclude a Treaty.

It is possible for an entrustment to be general, covering all treaties within certain categories. But it is more usual for an entrustment to relate to a particular treaty. An entrustment should be sought by an Overseas Territory prior to commencing the negotiation of an international agreement.

Bermuda and BVI have a “standing entrustment” which allows them to negotiate agreements in specified areas. Bermuda, Gibraltar and the Caribbean Overseas Territories have standing entrustments to negotiate tax information exchange agreements.

The principles behind “standing entrustments” are the same as those for the much more common treaty-specific entrustments.

Where a standing entrustment exists the Territories must keep the UK Government informed of negotiations in individual agreements and the UK has the right to refuse to allow an Overseas Territory to sign an agreement to which the UK objects.

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Comments (17)

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  1. Encyclopedia says:

    “Transparency” in tabling the Entrustment Letter from UK. How nice !! This takes “transparency” to a new level?

    No transparency in hiring CCC? No RFP? Why was no other airport developer/builder who could do the PPP at their financing, at less cost, considered?

    • clearasmud says:

      You ask the right question and we are yet to get an answer. WE accept that the only way we can build a new airport at this time is with the PPP method but we have no idea if the present deal is a good one because we have nothing to comape it to. Financial instructions require at least 3 quotes for projects that cost over a certain amount as one way of determining if we the people are getting value for money.

    • Creamy says:

      It’s funny. I didn’t see you making amy comment about the lack of rfp’s on Port Royal, where a trustee/ government minister/contractor awarded himself a contract.
      Did it not occur to you at that point? It was only a week ago that this was discussed on Bernews.

  2. Stunned... says:

    @ encyclopedia – did you provide any names airport builders to the Government of Bermuda, having audited a few as per your post?

    • Encyclopedia says:

      Actually yes, but cannot reveal details at this time.

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Locked away in your imagination are they?

        • Encyclopedia says:

          Mentioned in writing to the government, an Airport builder that has done 3 international airports on PPP model.

          • sebring says:

            should be three builders that built at least three in the same manner!saying one refered to government defeats your firts and all post!

          • Family Man says:

            I bet their partners also build golf courses and ship piers.

  3. swing voter says:

    get it done.

  4. I’m sorry , I’m missing the point here…we need a bridge .I say pilons,and modular with sidewalks and lighting that could be assembled here.Hydry electric power between pilons to assist emergancy services in the advent of one…..this urgency and the trump card letter have me curious,the airport and bridge need scandinavian engineering…Holland is one thought…….I have only one fear basically….the source of funding…as long ad it is not from my grandfathers trust fund….I think we’re good…letter or no letter.

  5. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    ” Think twice leap once”

    The oil rich Canadians would just love the get their foot in our door, like they are doing the other islands to the South.

    30 years ! many of us will not live long enough to see the end of it.

    Even 15 years for any thing is totally ridiculous by any stretch of the imagination.

    Many bad things can happen in less than 30 years, there will be more wars.

    Who knows what the future will bring?

    If this country does not come to grips with reality there will be no future.

    This is a British colony get the funds from the UK if you need any king of financial assistance or go to the world bank. We need to solve our fossil fuel for power problems not airports.

    The day will come when you get of a plane , into a hovercraft and go.
    You will have a chip implant.

  6. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    Steel and stone Buildings do not last 30 years any more they implode them in exchange for glass; solar power and modular construction at half the cost.

    Four standard construction out dated non- functional maintenance friendly Bermuda hotels have seen the wrecking ball.

    Club med

    Even the British Parliament building are ready for the wrecking ball as erosion eats the building away.

  7. PANGAEA says:

    You do not need to convince me to move forward, you need to convince your selves.

  8. Commodore JB of BBIRYC says:

    I really should build my own airport for my private jet on Hinson’s Island. I think I will build my own dock for my yacht, the Eclipse.

  9. modular and anchor it down well…this method makes possabilities endless…and inexpensive.I can do all of this work myself with a small crew,and a design team with a green team….but guess what…let’s change the elevation to reflect a storm surge at full moon on equinox….I don’t think I need Canadian to build our airport,anything they can do I can do better!Quicker!Cheaper!…and look better doing it….we have options….they are not set in stone…nothing is arbitrary!…it never was…..give me a set of plans…and I’ll give you a modular alternative that would be easy to upgrade ss necessary!

  10. One last thing please…I’ll give you a modular bridge put it on pilons with sidewalks hydro electric powered lights ,wind mills and solar, we will have water taxi docks through out …are you kidding me? …then if you want to give Canadians the job of running it…go right ahead….maybe you can get them to vote for you too..