McKell Bonaby, chairman of the Bahamas Public Parks and Public Beach Authority, said several drastic contracts issued by the authorities under the Minis administration exceeded $ 76,000 per month due to continued controversy over the authorities and their past leaders. Stated.
He said the contract did not have all the required signatures and was not in the correct format.
“There was a drastic irregularity in the drastic contract,” Bonaby said yesterday in parliament during a mid-year budget debate.
“First and foremost, every contract requires four signatures: a contractor’s signature, a witness’s signature, a chairman’s signature, and a board secretary’s signature. If so, it is valid and binds authority. “
Bonaby continued. “The sweeper contract was signed only by the former president.
“… these substantive contracts are not signed by the board secretary. One contract is $ 45,926 a month, another is $ 11,625, another is $ 12,400 a month, $ 6,951 a month. It’s breathtaking.
“My question is, where were the checks and balances where these contracts did not meet legal standards?
“Given that when I reviewed the contracts and realized that there was no place for the board secretary to sign and none of the contracts were signed by the board secretary, I thought they were personal contracts. I thought it was a personal contract.
“This is alarming.”
Mr Bonaby said the accounting department should have informed former chairman Channendon Cartwright of the issue.
Cartwright fired after it was revealed that authorities had continuously exceeded the budget by millions of dollars and issued a large number of contracts prior to the 2021 election. Some of them were duplicated.
Mr Bonaby said in his opinion that the drastic contract was invalid and was invalid from the start.
“I want to answer the next question,” he said.
“Why wasn’t the board secretary’s signature attached to the drastic contract?
“Have you scrutinized the amount of the contract? Did the former director retroactively approve the contract?
“Why were these favorable contracts not returned to the chairman through the accounting department when submitted for treatment as a red flag due to the lack of signature of the board secretary? And if they were returned and ignored, what did the accounting department do about it?
“… Should these contracts be invalid, should legal action be taken to return the money to the public wallet?”
He also questioned whether board members would be protected, especially given the fact that they hadn’t met for two years.
In response to Bonaby’s question at House, Cartwright said the minutes reflected the unanimous approval of the large contract by the board.
“In terms of amounts and fees, everything was filed at the board level and everything was fully approved,” he said.
“And the minutes reflect that.
“We would have used past references because it is related to the contract and how they were set up … in that regard. And it went before the board and was fully approved by the board. I did.
“Now, if it needs some changes, of course, this administration has the ability to do it.
“As I emphasized this morning, I would like to emphasize that there is no malice or malice, and it does not suggest that the members have said so.
“But we want the Bahamian people to know because we’ve been involved in this discussion about beaches and parks for quite some time.
“And I have no problem with accountability.”
Cartwright also addressed the issue of duplicate contracts, arguing that they were not an ominous attempt at double payments, but instead the result of a system issue.
He said he met 50 to 60 duplicate contracts when the Free National Movement (FNM) was launched in 2017.
“Like the duplicate contracts that happened under my supervision weren’t ominous,” Cartwright said.
“Duplicate contacts below [Christie] The management of PLP was not ominous either.
“In the report, the deputy government mentioned … duplicates are the result of not having a proper mapping system, but I agree.
“And I’m sure the honorable member and the team he has can see it and fix the problem.
“… I mean, for duplication, yes, you can clean Bay Street from East Street to the Capitol because you need to fix the system …. Another contract is to clean Bay Street from the Capitol. May be told from street to east street for wording, and the system doesn’t pick it up.
“When that happens, we will reassign.
“… I didn’t intend to pay twice. It’s a system feature that needs to be fixed.
“Should we accept the criticism that we didn’t fix it, knowing that it wasn’t fixed under the PLP administration?
“But I distinguish between the need to fix something and the suggestion that there was some criminal intent, not by the members.”
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