Damning verdict on aggregate deal
A “clear conflict of interest” and the possibility of criminal activity.
That was the damning verdict on a $1.4 million Bermuda Government contract which Vic Ball recommended be given to Harmony Holdings in April 2009 to provide aggregate for roads.
Mr Ball, now a One Bermuda Alliance senator, was the purchasing officer in the Department of Works and Engineering and responsible for recommending Harmony Holdings for the contract.
He did not tell permanent secretary Robert Horton that his father Eugene Ball was a principal of the firm, which prompted the panel to recommend the matter be investigated by the police. The Commission, whose report noted how Cabinet approval for the contract was not sought, found that Mr Ball's actions were a breach of the Financial Instructions and the Civil Service Conditions of Employment and Code of Conduct.
When he gave evidence, Mr Ball acknowledged that the regulations that normally govern purchasing were bypassed because “it was an emergency” and maintained the department had “never gotten Cabinet approval for any of our aggregate purchases”.
Asked why he had not told Mr Horton his father was a principal at Harmony Holdings, he said: “There was no appearance of conflict in my mind because I was not affiliated with HH in any way, shape or form.”
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