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Towards cheaper energy for the NSC

Jaché Adams, the government MP for Pembroke West (Constituency 19), has been chairman of the Board of Trustees at the National Sports Centre since December 2020

The trustees of the National Sports Centre have been exploring how to decrease their more than $500,000 annual energy costs since 2017. The installation of an energy-saving microgrid system, projected to be completed by January 2022, will result in greater efficiency and significant savings, and will also reduce the environmental footprint.

As required by the Code of Practice for Project Management and Procurement, an advertisement was placed in January 2018 inviting expressions of interest from local providers.

The companies that responded met with the NSC trustees in March 2018 and were provided with additional details of the proposed project. Each company was then invited to submit proposals.

A sub-committee was appointed to review the submitted proposals and make a recommendation to the trustees. Its recommendation to proceed with Atlantic Energy Solutions Group Ltd’s bid was submitted to the NSC chairman in August 2018.

The sub-committee followed this up by having the proposals reviewed independently by a large local contracting and engineering company. This company supported the sub-committee’s recommendation as AESG’s bid was comprehensive and provided value for money for taxpayers.

In September 2018, a letter was sent on behalf of the NSC trustees to notify AESG

of its successful bid. It must be noted that AESG received the letter and signed a letter of intent with the NSC before one of the company executives, Damon Wade, was duly and democratically elected as chairman of the Progressive Labour Party.

After three years of extensive review and analysis by the Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Sport, and Ministry of Finance, approval was granted by the respective ministers. The contract was then reviewed by the Attorney-General’s Chambers prior to execution.

All payments disbursed to AESG have been in accordance with the contract, and AESG provides the NSC with weekly reports of its progress, also as per the contract.

There has been a significant amount of fake news and sensationalised headlines about this contract that are often more interesting than the truth. The reality is, AESG did not receive any special consideration, but, rather, is a well-qualified, experienced and reputable Bermudian firm that successfully won a public tendering bid.

It is really sad and regrettable that certain people in our community still look at some of the qualified Bermudian-owned businesses that have been awarded government contracts as being corrupt.

On the other hand there are “other” businesses — including those tied to the One Bermuda Alliance — that do not attract the same level of scrutiny.

In response to claims of forging signatures, the misuse of public funds, and the like, this is categorically untrue. It is very offensive to suggest that this happened. This clearly is a sign that there continues to be a divide in our community where the historically disadvantaged are seen as corrupt and the historically privileged are seen as deserving.

I am excited to see this project begin, as it is designed to meet the NSC trustees’ overall objectives in 2017 to have cheaper energy, cleaner energy and a more efficient facility — and it is encouraging that these will be delivered by a Bermudian-owned company!

• Jaché Adams, the government MP for Pembroke West (Constituency 19), has been chairman of the Board of Trustees at the National Sports Centre since December 2020

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Published July 10, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated July 09, 2021 at 4:44 pm)

Towards cheaper energy for the NSC

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