No Govt MPs Attend, PAC Meeting Cancelled

April 14, 2016

With none of the Government members of the Public Accounts Committee [PAC] in attendance at today’s [April 14] meeting, the meeting was cancelled as it failed to reach a quorum.

PAC Members

The PAC members are Chairman David Burt [PLP], Wayne Furbert [PLP], Lovitta Foggo [PLP], Cole Simons [OBA], Susan Jackson [OBA], Glen Smith [OBA], and Jeff Sousa [OBA].

Today’s meeting was due to start at 2.30pm, and Mr Burt, Ms Foggo and Mr Furbert were present, however none of the other members were present.

Cole Simons’ Comments

When asked this afternoon, MP Cole Simons said, “Unfortunately, none of the Government members of the Public Accounts Committee will be able to attend today’s meeting because of prior commitments already in place when the meeting was scheduled and because of unexpected professional commitments.

“Apologies have been sent to the chairman and we look forward to resuming the Committee’s important work next week.”

David Burt’s Comments

PAC Chairman David Burt said, “It is unfortunate that the PAC was not able to meet today. Sadly this issue has exposed a partisan divide in the Public Accounts Committee, however we will carry on with our work. It should be noted that the sole purpose of today’s meeting was to receive the Airport Development Agreement in its entirety, which was required by the summons issued on April 5, 2016.

“I have issued a new summons to the Financial Secretary who was in attendance at today’s cancelled meeting, and he will appear next Thursday at 2:30 PM to answer the summons and hopefully produce the contract.

“The PAC is the body of Parliament that ensures Financial Instructions are adhered to and value for money is obtained. This project will be the largest capital project in our country’s history and it is vital that this untendered deal be subject to scrutiny to ensure Bermuda is getting a good deal.”

Meeting Announcement

The announcement issued earlier this week of today’s meeting said, “A spokesperson said, “It is expected that the Standing Committee will deliberate on matters relating to the proposed redevelopment of the L.F. Wade International Airport.

“At an earlier public meeting on 19th November 2015, the Public Accounts Committee unanimously requested that the Financial Secretary provide the Committee a copy of the Airport Development Agreement executed by the Minister of Finance with the Canadian Commercial Corporation.

“Though several requests and follow-up requests were made by the Clerk to the Committee, the full Agreement, inclusive of the Schedules, has not been provided to the Committee.

“On 5th April 2016, the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee issued a summons under the Parliament Act 1957 requiring the Financial Secretary to produce the Airport Development Agreement with accompanying Schedules at the Public Hearing to be held on 14th April 2016.

“The Public Accounts Committee is comprised of Members of Parliament and is authorized by the House of Assembly to closely examine and report on matters relating to the accounts of the Government of Bermuda and, in particular, to investigate findings reported by the Auditor General in the Auditor’s Annual and other Special Reports.”

Update: Audio comments from David Burt below:


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Comments (50)

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  1. Terry says:

    Well.
    That’s not news.
    PLP told us such.
    Good on them.

  2. Yahoo says:

    Typical for Cole Simons – guy does nothing but collect a pay check.

    • Ms. Poli Tician says:

      Several politicians are “employed and paid” but do little work. We commoners would be out on our backsides if we “worked” (wink, wink) like that.

    • Grassy says:

      Totally useless.

    • TO YAHOO: Cole Simons is a TOTAL WASTE. He was told that PERSONALLY!!!
      The fact that no oba member bothered to show is direct disrespect and disregard for the P.L.P.
      When the time is appropriate, they will be in power NO MORE.
      There is no respect for them.
      CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE suits their behaviour nicely!!!

  3. Don’t become complacent you Members of the Opposition, “there’s yet much turning of the stone to be done” :-(

    • Come Correct says:

      Opposition? I see more oba members out.

      • The Original Truth™ says:

        As always Raymond has no subjective points when it comes to politics. He doesn’t understand that a democratic government should always be held to task and never held up on a pedestal.

        • Where were you with such remarks when the former Progressive Labour Party were the Government? Or shall I say, “when the shoe was on the other foot”? Just curious…

  4. Are you F!@#ing serious, SHUT DOWN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • jt says:

      Relax. Have a protein shake.

    • Terry says:

      Juice.
      This is your last warning from me.
      Bernews can delete my comment or whatever.
      I shall expose your hatred and subversion.
      Shut up.

    • Earth watch police says:

      Onion juice you are a scary person your hate will consume you.

      • Come Correct says:

        You’re worried about this?

        • @ Earth watch police and Terry, now you know how Blacks felt during Segregation.

          • Full Fuulish says:

            That deck is stacked full of race cards! No use getting worked up u lot. Its just a defense mechanism. The decks gotta run out eventually…

          • Earth watch police says:

            If you are oppressed today we have laws in place go to the proper authorities.

    • Swing Voter says:

      sorry OJ, most of us voters are responsible citizens, have jobs, and bills to pay. Sounds like you have nothing to loose.

  5. jt says:

    PAC being reduced to the same useless body that the PLP reduced it to while they were governing? Interesting.

    • Let us hope/pray not/// :-(

    • Hurricane says:

      The more things change, the more they stay the same

      • This is the most incompetent Government to date, from day one they have been accused of shady doings and the U.B.P. cheerleaders are silent. I must admit P.L.P. did some F!@#ed up things, but these Dreamers make them look like boy scouts.
        F!@#ing Pathetic !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • jt says:

          So say the audits?

        • Cup Of Tea Anyone? says:

          Accused is the operative word. i can accuse you of murder, theft, rape, but that does not make it so. stop reading the BE12 page.
          YOU BINFORD

        • Sara says:

          Really??? I think the most incompetent government to date is clearly the ones who put us into this magnificent debt. And if you don’t agree, then may god help you.

    • The Original Truth™ says:

      The useless bodies in this instance are the ones that did not show to the meeting. PAC type groups work fine in other countries that actually take them serious. If their going to collect a paycheck from the taxpayers they need to perform or else step down.

      It’s like John Barritt is always saying there’s too many talking heads in government and they need to be reduced. Probably the reason why the government insured he was out before they got in.

  6. george says:

    “Unfortunately, none of the Government members of the Public Accounts Committee will be able to attend today’s meeting because of prior commitments already in place when the meeting was scheduled and because of unexpected professional commitments.”

    So, you’re saying they scheduled a meeting knowing that members already had prior commitments, and now they’re complaining that nobody could make it?

    • Grizz says:

      George, please don’t be fooled by that! If this was a meeting to do with anything but that airport, they would have showed up! The PAC is ALSO a commitment. ALL POLITRICKS

    • mj says:

      @george–stop and think for a minute— what could be more professional than representing THE COUNTRY? !!!!!!!unless it is an immediate family emerency than representation for THE COUNTRY should be a priority!!!Shame on Cole, he seems to lack any these days and yes just keeping a seat warm and collecting a paycheck, his loyalties are clear!!! he has none for the country!

      • The Original Truth™ says:

        Pretending to represent the country is not the same as representing the country. Someone can pretend to do a job and collect a paycheck for a bit but soon they get found out and made to get out. Sadly this doesn’t happen with government and instead we pay out of pocket for non-performing employees.

  7. SMH says:

    This is ridiculous Not only are they silent in the midst of bad governance, but they have the nerve to miss meetings too??????? I wish I could get paid to tell my boss I can’t bother to show up.

    • Strike fund says:

      You must work in the private sector.

      Burt set the meeting date knowing that people couldn’t attend.

      I can read him like a book. And it’s certainly not Bravo Two Zero be Andy McNab, which actually improves with every read!!

    • Iqbal says:

      “I wish I could get paid to tell my boss I can’t bother to show up.”

      Have you thought about a career in the civil service?

  8. Ringmaster says:

    If PAC is to have the purpose it was created to perform, it should not be dependent on having Government and Opposition members forming a quorum. Have at least 3 Independent members appointed by the Governor and reduce the Opposition to 2 and Government to 3. A quorum needs 5. That way a meeting should always be held.

  9. Zevon says:

    This is nothing new. When the PLP were in government they never turned up for it. It’s funny how they now get upset about it.

    • Whistling Frog says:

      This is a new government whipe. You’d think the would do things different.

      • Zevon says:

        You hypocrites said nothing when the PLP did it week after week. You’re A$$ wipe hypicrites.

  10. Pete says:

    Should have discuss their Panama hats !?!?

  11. Scotty says:

    Disband this current committee and form a new one. Susan Jackson, this is the only job she has done since the election and she can’t attend a meeting dealing with taxpayers money. I have never seen such childish behavior in my life and it is getting worse. Is there no one in charge? Mr Premier you need to look closely at your reps on PAC how can you tolerate this behavior in adults that were elected to serve the people.

    • aceboy says:

      Agreed. Look what was on the agenda…again. The airport.

      We need a non political PAC.

    • serengeti says:

      Yes, we have seen behavior like this before. For years. The PLP deliberately avoided PAC meetings to make sure there was never a quorum, when they were the government. Burt was part of that. He seems to have forgotten.

  12. average Bermudian says:

    Where is fey and dunk on this issue ???

    The transaction is or appears to be some type of backwards “Reverse Mortgage”

    A reasonable answer cannot be provided to permanently close one of the two existing runways.

    As a country – we are so divided – fey & dunk proved it – for themselves (either through ignorance or even more so, to change the social structure)

    All sheep we are – no shepherds

  13. average Bermudian says:

    filabusting

  14. alsys says:

    David Burt also said that he was aware of several that couldn’t make it before the sitting of this meeting. Why isn’t that in his comments above?

  15. UmJustSayiing says:

    That’s how to handle …The People’s Business. Hmmmmmmmmm!!!

  16. thief says:

    It appears the news release of attacks, demands, grievances and accusations was prepared and delivered even without anyone showing up! I think we understand that attending this meeting is simply an unpleasant, uncompromising and largely hostile experience. I am stunned that respectable, resolution minded people would show up at all — and I guess we all need a break sometimes!

    Engaging with selected factions of the PLP inevitably leads to headlines that are unpleasant for tourism, that knock business confidence and ultimately destroy potential for creating jobs. And maybe a no show at the PAC has been the best thing for all of us this week

  17. Coffee says:

    For that reason alone , we shouldn’t give any import or serious consideration to the pending commission of inquiry ! It just seems as if no one cares anymore .

    • Earth watch police says:

      That’s what you dream about coffee too late ball is in play and the clock is running out.

    • aceboy says:

      lol. Yea. Sure.