Apology to the Corporation of Hamilton
In yesterday’s print edition of The Royal Gazette, the headline of the lead story, titled “City owes millions in legal fees” was incorrect, and for that we apologise unreservedly.
The headline misrepresented the body of text, which recounted how much money the Corporation of Hamilton had spent in legal fees because of two separate court cases.
The corporation does not owe any money for legal fees, and in fact is debt-free, confirmed by its audited financial statement which was released to the media and published online in June last year.
Charles Gosling, the Mayor of Hamilton, said: “This administration has a sound reputation for fiscal responsibility and transparency. Within two council meetings of being elected mayor in 2009 the council, under my direction, opened its regular meetings to the public. Since then, the public have been able to attend and make presentations at these meetings to share their concerns or potential opportunities with the City.
“Additionally, the Corporation publishes its annual budget prior to the year in question committing ourselves to a course of action. Any changes to the budget during the year are also published, with the council being made aware of the changes and the Minister of Public Works approving those changes. The financial statements are audited and published within six months of the year end. We ensure that when it is an election year, the results are published prior to the election, which they will be this May.
“Lastly, the corporation follows government guidelines on the issuance of requests for proposals and the acceptance of and awarding of contracts. The bidders are asked to be present when the bid box is opened, at which point all the bids are read out, a written record of which is then signed by attending witnesses and filed. The awarding bid is confirmed by committee, council and the Minister of Public Works, and is then published. The names of the losing applicants are also published as a part of the committee meeting minutes. The corporation is debt-free, owing nothing to anyone at this point in time.”