Meeting: BTA Financials & South Basin Financing

January 24, 2017

[Updated] The Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Public Accounts will conduct a Public Hearing on Thursday [Jan 26] at St. Paul’s Hall, with the topics of discussion to include the Bermuda Tourism Authority Financial Statements and the financing of the land reclamation project at the South Basin for the America’s Cup.

Bermuda Crest TC January 24 2017

“The Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Public Accounts will conduct a Public Hearing on Thursday, 26th January 2017 at 2:30pm at St. Paul’s Church Centennial Hall,” the announcement said.

“The Standing Committee has invited officers from the Bermuda Tourism Authority for discussion on matters arising out of the Financial Statements of the BTA for the year 2015.

“In addition, the Committee has invited the Chairman of WEDCO to meet with Members for discussion on the financing and preparation of the land reclamation project in the South Basin area for the America’s Cup events.

“Additionally, a representative from the Ministry of Public Works will be in attendance to discuss with Members Capital works and Grants.

“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.

“The Chairman of the Committee is Hon. Wayne L. Furbert, JP, MP. Members of the public are invited to attend and observe the hearing to be held in St. Paul’s Church Centennial Hall, Court Street, Hamilton HM 12.”

Update 4.47pm: The BTA said, “On Thursday, representatives of the Bermuda Tourism Authority [BTA] are scheduled to appear before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Public Accounts. They will field questions from Parliamentarians on the BTA’s Audited Financial Statements of 2015.

The BTA earned unqualified audits in 2014 and 2015.

BTA COO Karla Lacey said: “We are grateful for the opportunity to answer questions as it relates to the Bermuda Tourism Authority’s Audited Financial Statements for 2015.

“It is pretty clear to us – and we hope to the public – that strategic planning and judicious spending in 2015 provided the foundation for success the country experienced in tourism in 2016.

“There were 11 consecutive months of tourism industry growth in 2016, and we expect 11 to become 12 when the December numbers are tabulated.

“Decisions made in tourism today directly affect the performance the country will see 9, 12 or even 24 months from now. The same was true back in 2015, decisions then have an impact on what is happening now.”

The BTA said “expenditures in 2015 underpin some key data points:

  • “The BTA is operating on a budget that is half of what was invested in tourism 10 years ago
  • “The BTA is providing a healthier return on investment for the country – 14:1 in 2015, versus 11:1 in 2007 and 2008
  • “The BTA is investing in local entrepreneurs, focused not only on creating job opportunities for Bermudians but creating Bermudian business owners as well
  • “The BTA has played a critical role in stimulating infrastructure investment with hotel and transport projects in the pipeline.”

Ms Lacey said: “The BTA earns a greater return for the country – which can be redirected to other services – and has ended a troubling trend of falling visitor arrivals and visitor spending. We’re pleased to share that story with the Parliamentarians of the Committee.”

All corporate reports – released quarterly and annually – detailing the activities and financials of the BTA can be found on its corporate website.

click here Bermuda Public Accounts Committee

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Comments (7)

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  1. Terry says:

    Here we go again.
    Stirring it prior too.
    Enjoy 2017.

  2. wahoo says:

    Wayne? okay.

  3. aceboy says:

    Mr. Chairman, when are you going to discuss the Auditor General’s Reports, which is your remit? Or, like your predecessor, are you simply going to discuss divert the agenda to anything and everything else?

  4. somuchless says:

    Karla, never a dual moment.

  5. Terry says:

    See my comment above.

  6. Build a Better Bermuda says:

    So again the PAC is wanting to discuss unqualified audits, but still refuses to address the multitude of damning reports from the PLP administration… and Mr. Burt is trying to push a good governance platform from the PLP. Does anyone else not see the irony and hypocrisy here.

  7. jt says:

    Maybe the BTA can try to explain the term “unqualified audit” to a few of the PAC members.