Ball: I should have declared conflict
One Bermuda Alliance senator Vic Ball has conceded that “it would have served the process better” had he declared a conflict of interest when recommending a $1.4 million project to a company half-owned by his father.
Mr Ball was speaking to The Royal Gazette after it emerged on Monday that he had offered his resignation to the Premier, who rejected it, following admissions he made during the Commission of Inquiry.
During the CoI, established to inquire into the findings of the Auditor-General’s report for 2010 to 2012, Mr Ball admitted failing to mention his father’s 50 per cent interest in the company Harmony Holdings.
Asked by The Royal Gazette yesterday why he offered his resignation when he believed had done nothing wrong, Mr Ball responded: “I tendered my resignation after having a discussion with the Premier because I didn’t want to be a political distraction with our stated aims of transparency as it regards government spending.
“I am thankful and appreciative that the Premier chose not to accept my resignation and has confidence in me as a Government senator.”
Furthermore, Mr Ball told the inquiry at the time that he would have done things the same way if it happened again, a statement the Premier has described to this newspaper as “very concerning”.
Pressed on this point, Mr Ball added: “I made that statement because the contract was delivered before the expected delivery date given the emergency status.
“It was the right specification and quality of material required; it was the lowest price that the Government had paid in ten years; there were no overages or cost overruns at all. It was a seamless transaction.
“I’m of the view that all Government contracts should be performed that way. It was for the above stated reasons that I said I would do it the same way.
“However, as a result of discussions with the Premier, Senate leader and others regarding transparency required by any representative of the people, I accept that at some point it would have served the process better to have disclosed my father’s interest.”
• On occasion The Royal Gazette may decide to not allow comments on a story that we deem might inflame sensitivities. As we are legally liable for any slanderous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.
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