City Hall bosses say RFP was appropriate
The Request for Proposal for the waterfront redevelopment — Bermuda's largest infrastructure project — consisted of an advertisement in the newspaper — with no supporting documents.
That has raised eyebrows in some quarters with critics saying that more details should have been given.
But City Hall bosses say the document was appropriate in their view.
“It was very brief because there has been a lot of history here at City Hall of attempts on the waterfront. We simply asked for interested parties that were willing to partner with the City on advancing the waterfront project to make their submissions to us,” said councilman Keith Davis.
“There is no blueprint for how that process is done at City Hall, and coincidentally it was the first for City Hall.”
Mr Davis echoed comments by Mayor Graeme Outerbridge that the waterfront redevelopment had been a topic of discussion for about 50 years.
“A lot of the big players in Bermuda are very aware of the scope of that area and what they were responding to. So that was sufficient to get the responses we were looking for and in the context of when we were doing that.”
The pair were keen to share that the process was expertly guided by consultant Varoujian Hagopian who has had many years of experience with waterfront developments globally.
But they acknowledged that Mr Hagopian arrived on the Island after the RFP had been issued and had not advised on what the document should look like, or how it could have been improved.
Asked whether the RFP should not have been more detailed, Mr Davis said: “Within the time context and when we made the decision, we think and we are confident that it was the best way to get this process going.”
He agreed that some interested parties may have wanted more time to respond — the RFP specified a three week deadline — but “our economy has not got a wealth of time to work with a lot of detail to get us back on track.”
And he admitted that the RFP document was drafted by the Council itself with no input from the professional staff.
“We did it internally ourselves,” he said. “It was a policy decision which is what we are elected to do.”