OPEN LETTER TO DR. HUBERT MINNIS
WORST GOVERNMENT? CAN’T GET ANY WORSE THAN THE FNM – PART TWO
Bradley B Roberts
National Chairman Progressive Liberal Party
April 7th 2015
I did promise you a part 2 in a series of open letters to you to give you a snapshot into what bad governance looks like. The snapshot will not only demonstrate to you and the public the asininity of your public statements, but the rank arrogance and hypocrisy of the FNM.
Do you remember the MV Lorequin Commission of Inquiry that condemned a senior police officer who took possession of a quantity of illegal drugs from the RBDF that went partially missing under his superintendence? Do you also recall that the very same officer led a covert DEU operation (from the Bahamas side) with the DEA that led to the arrest of Nassau Flight Services baggage handlers in Florida? Notwithstanding the very dark clouds of scandal, controversy and a number of ethical issues surrounding this officer, you and your cabinet colleagues would later appoint him as Police Commissioner. The PLP publicly opposed that appointment as not being in the public’s best interest. It was simply a poor decision on the part of your government, but you agreed Minnis. This is what bad governance looks like.
The process that led to and the covert and secretive circumstances under which BTC was sold was scandalous and another example of poor governance, but you were there Minnis and approved the sale both in Cabinet and in Parliament. BTC was sold for significantly less than your government reported, but the difference remained unexplained. What was the justification for the $4 million “finder’s fee” and who got the fee? Like the slow speed engines your government bought from French Company (apparently coerced by a criminal bribe) after ignoring the BEC Board and Management recommendation, the service and prices did not improve and the monies collected from the sale of BTC did not pay down on the national debt as promised. These are further examples of poor governance – some say criminal – but the record place you Minnis at the scene of the “crime.” See Minnis, this is what bad governance looks like.
Concerning NIB, do you still think it was legal for the cabinet to consistently bypass the statue and duly appointed board in violation of the National Insurance Act and approve those huge bonuses and other decisions the board knew nothing about? Also, can you bring yourself to finally admit that your colleague Prime Minister did in fact mislead Parliament when the NIB records on contracts awarded Kenuth Electric differed from the dollar value communicated to the Parliament by the then Prime Minister. And that the 2008/2009 budget debate when your government raised taxes in an attempt to raise millions in revenue, but NO FNM MINISTER AND NO FNM MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT ever COMMUNICATED the TAX INCREASES to parliament. Bahamians found out about the new tariffs when they imported goods and services in the country. Was your government being ethical, accountable, transparent and respectful to the principle of democracy and the institution of Parliament? Do you think ANYBODY was misled by your government in that shameless process? How do you reconcile your behavior and that of your government back then with your repeated calls for this one and that one to resign for misleading the House? Exactly when did you acquire this new found respect for the principles of transparency and accountability and public trust? The FNM has a terrible record of transparency, accountability and public trust.
You know Minnis, Jose Cartellone Construcciones Civiles from Argentina was the contractor for the Spanish Town Highway project in Jamaica. When it was revealed that the Spanish Town project was $40 million over budget, the Works Minister and the Project Manager for the Jamaican government resigned over that scandal because they were poor stewards of the people’s money. To my chagrin, no longer than during the midyear budget debate, former Works Minister Neko Grant was still trying to convince himself that he nor his FNM was culpable or responsible for the NPRIP debacle that was some $100 million or 100% over budget. He blamed everybody except himself and he was the Minister. I won’t mention the Sandilands remand center and the AG’s Office as in each case, your FNM government exercised absolute disregard and disrespect for the people’s money.
According to the Supreme Court, your government broke the law with the administration of the 2008 Local Government Elections and on another matter your colleague Laing used his position to secure an unreasonable advantage for a family member. Further, your Deputy Prime Minister Symonette found himself in a fundamental conflict between his public duty and his personal business interest involving both the container port and Bahamas Hot Mix. Who could ever forget the free helicopter ride by Minister Deveaux, the $1 million donation to the BNT and the unauthorized dredging of a protected marine sanctuary? On each score, you and your entire FNM government were complicit, silent and compromised and you agreed with the malfeasant behavior.
There is more Minnis but you get the picture. Minnis, what is clear is that you are a faker, a big joke and cannot be taken seriously because your party’s record of governance cannot withstand any scrutiny on the terms of public trust, transparency, accountability, honest, credibility or competence. It’s pretty difficult for any government to get any worse than the FNM when it comes to governance.