Wade payout part of Govt ‘friends and family plan’

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One Bermuda Alliance Senator Michael Dunkley has raised a red flag over a Government payout that he suggested was “cronyism at a very steep price”.

His remarks followed the release in the Senate of details on all consultants contracted by the Ministry of Health as of April 15.

Sen Dunkley questioned monthly payments of $11,833 to Ianthia Simmons-Wade, the former administrator of the Summerhaven home for the physically challenged.

“She was in charge at Summerhaven and there was a lot of concern about what happened there,” the Shadow Health Minister said.

“A short time ago she was dismissed from that position. I find it pretty amazing that she was paid $12,000 a month as a consultant for rest homes, one of which she was dismissed from.”

The response by Junior Health Minister Senator Vincent Ingham stated that the widow of Progressive Labour Party leader Freddie Wade was asked to “review legislation and regulations governing residential care homes and nursing homes, and make recommendations to strengthen legislative framework”.

It didn’t state how long Ms Simmons Wade had served as a Government consultant.

Sen Dunkley called it “a pretty steep price to pay for something like that, if that’s her only responsibility”.

Ms Simmons-Wade was suspended by the Summerhaven board in 2008 on allegations of financial mismanagement — allegations which were ultimately overturned, and withdrawn by the Summerhaven Trust.

Sen Dunkley called the payout “another example of the friends and family plan and cronyism”.

Senator Ingham also provided details of the $6.78 million given in the latest Budget that was paid by the Ministry of Health headquarters in the financial year of 2011/12.

FutureCare contributions took $6.5 million; board member fees were $32,920, and $270,845.70 went out to consultants and contractors, to a total of $6.8 million.

Actual expenditure for the 2010/11 fiscal year totaled $8,883,000. Of that, $8.35 million went to FutureCare; $37,535 was paid to board members; $346,796.59 went to consultants and contractors, and $148,762.66 went to college fees for the nursing programme.

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Published May 1, 2012 at 9:14 am (Updated May 1, 2012 at 9:14 am)

Wade payout part of Govt ‘friends and family plan’

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