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Company boss ‘pleased Government can face accountability' over shipping deal

Silence: Wayne Furbert, the Minister for the Cabinet Office (File photograph)

A company pursuing a legal challenge over an online shopping deal said it is pleased the Government can face accountability for its procurement decisions.

Island importer Mailboxes Unlimited launched legal action over the Government’s deal with Florida-based importer MyUS.com to set up MyBermudaPost.

In a ruling last week, Puisne Judge Larry Mussenden said an inquiry into the legality of the Government’s contract with MyUS should proceed.

Mailboxes Unlimited CEO Kenny Thomson applauded Mr Justice Mussenden’s decision, adding: “We are pleased the judge has ruled in our favour that the Government can face accountability for its procurement decisions.

“While frustrating that the Government’s efforts to stop our legal challenge caused several months of delay, we are optimistic about the current position and looking forward to reaching a final resolution later this summer.”

He added: “We may be the only company listed on the case, but we certainly represent the interests of all Bermudians in our desire for increased government transparency and responsibility to its taxpayers.”

The Ministry for the Cabinet Office signed a deal with MyUS.com last year, claiming that the contract would enable Bermuda residents to shop online and ship in goods at cheap rates. The service was to be provided through the Bermuda Government Post Office.

Although the Government issued a request for information when first looking into the viability of a shipping service in 2021, it later signed a deal with the US firm without first seeing if local companies could provide a similar service.

The announcement, made by government minister Wayne Furbert, sparked a wave of protest from local retailers and importers. The minister claimed that island retailers could not compete with US stores.

In his ruling, Mr Justice Mussenden said: “In my view, there was a legal duty of fairness and adherence to the statutory procedure owed by the minister to the persons who could provide services to the Government.”

Mr Furbert declined to comment on the ruling. A government spokeswoman said: “Given the ongoing legal proceedings, there will be no further comment from government regarding this matter.”

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Published June 13, 2022 at 3:04 pm (Updated June 13, 2022 at 4:11 pm)

Company boss ‘pleased Government can face accountability' over shipping deal

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