PLP anger at reported lost $300,000 payment
A reported lost payment for buses has been blasted by Lawrence Scott, the Shadow Minister of Transport, as “irresponsibility and incompetence at its highest”.
According to a Monday report by the online news site Bermuda Real, a $300,000 advance payment was made roughly a year ago, with a source stating that the Bermuda Government was “pursuing avenues of investigation and recovery”.
Mr Scott told The Royal Gazette he was filing “fast and furious” parliamentary questions to pursue the allegations, but lamented that the minister would have nine days in which to respond.
Michael Fahy took over as Minister of Tourism, Transport and Municipalities in May, but transport-related questions have been fielded in the House by Grant Gibbons, the Minister of Economic Development.
“Unless there is a statement in the House of Assembly this Friday, we won't hear anything until the next Friday,” Mr Scott said. “We don't know if it's $300,000 or if it is as much as a million, which goes on top of the $18 million that went missing under Senator Fahy's watch.”
This was in reference to the Corporation of Hamilton's $18 million debt over a failed development at Par-la-Ville.
“Could you imagine if this happened under a Progressive Labour Party administration?” he added.
Mr Scott lamented that “no minister took accountability for this and came forward to tell the Bermudian people that a mistake had been made — it had to be found out by a journalist that this money went missing”.
“What else is going on behind the scenes?”
The revelation came in the wake of bus cancellations that plagued the island's fleet, already hit by mechanical troubles.
The need for new buses was a point raised by the former transport minister, Shawn Crockwell, who told Parliament in January that no new vehicles had been purchased since 2009 — but that 16 new buses had been purchased with four new ones coming this year.