BY BRADLEY B. ROBERTS
FORMER CHAIRMAN & CABINET MINISTER
13TH NOVEMBER 2017
I note the remarks of Works Minister Bannister on TV 12 Our News on December 12, 2017 concerning my assertions about the Stephen Dillet school repair contract. I assume that he will be addressing the topic further, as he cherry-picked the parts of my wider assertions about this scandal.
I note the following by the minister.
1. He admitted that the school contract administration was inappropriate and specifically indicating that it did not go out to bid.
2. He said that the public servants responsible were identified, appropriate punitive actions were taken and that he accepts full responsibility for the inappropriate action.
Unfortunately, the minister did not go far enough if he accepts his own double speak designed to end the discussion.
A. If the Minister accepts that the contract did not go out to tender, why did the tender not go out to tender?
B. If he accepts that the public servants acted inappropriately, why was this procedural breach hidden from the public? The silence of the cabinet reeks of a cover-up.
C. What were the punitive measures being taken to remedy this breach?
D. Having taken full responsibility for the actions of public servants, how did the Minister hold himself accountable? Should not the minister’s resignation immediately follow?
I submit that Minister Bannister is not speaking the truth. A $4 million non-competitive contract requires the approval of cabinet. As a former cabinet Minister who speaks from experience, no public servant has the audacity to issue a $4 million negotiated contract without the knowledge of the Minister; the public service simply does not operate in that manner. Desmond Bannister is clearly misleading the public and breaching the public trust. He kept the public in the dark about this contract and when confronted with the corrupt facts about the same, he conspires to mislead the public by sweeping this entire sordid and scandalous affair under the proverbial carpet; he must not and will not be allowed to get away with it.
I again call on Mr. Bannister to act in the public interest and come clean on this secret Stephen Dillet school repair contract and the bounced checks.