Right to know: five disclosures this year
• Bermuda Police Service has conducted more than 70 internal investigations in the past five years, with six officers being thrown off the force. The results of a Pati request submitted by The Royal Gazette lifted the lid on sanctions imposed on officers for misdemeanours on the job since 2009. We reported in August that of the 74 complaints investigated since the start of 2009, about a third were closed because of a lack of evidence or time issues, while there were still nine active investigations. Sanctions imposed on officers ranged from verbal warnings to severe reprimands and immediate discharges.
• Bermuda Sport Anti-Doping Authority has carried out more than 1,500 tests under its illicit drugs programme since January 1, 2013. According to Bsada there have been just four positive results, all for marijuana, out of the 1,706 that it performed. In response to a Pati request from The Royal Gazette, Bsada revealed that it also carried out 169 tests for performance-enhancing drugs in the same period, with no adverse analytical findings.
• Bermuda’s sports organisations are having to find new ways to fill large gaps in their funding after some of their budgets were slashed by more than 80 per cent or cut altogether. Figures released in August after a Pati request from this newspaper showed that sports such as squash and basketball had their funding slashed by nearly 90 per cent compared to last year, while the associations governing athletics, swimming, tennis, gymnastics and equestrianism all lost more than 50 per cent. Table tennis, rowing, volleyball, badminton and golf, all received nothing for the 2015/16 financial year.
• The number of public complaints against police officers reached a six-year low in 2014. A total of 23 external complaints against officers from the Bermuda Police Service was received by the Police Complaints Authority, according to documents provided to this newspaper under Pati. The figure is the lowest since 2008, when 22 complaints were made by the public against officers.
• The Bermuda Government may not have conducted a full environmental impact report, noise impact study, visual impact study or financial analysis of a decision to build a new Parks department maintenance yard in the heart of the Botanical Gardens. The campaign group Take Back Our Park requested the information under Pati but revealed in April it was told “none of the information” existed in files held by the Department of Planning. The Department also could not provide any evidence that alternative sites had been considered for the development, which environmentalists claim would be an eyesore and increase traffic in the area.