Awarding government contracts 

Dear Editor,

Last year was a brutal year in more ways than one. Those who are reading this submission right now should count it all joy that, despite all of the challenges, we made it into 2022.

We witnessed a change in government in 2021; out with the old FNM and in with the “new day” PLP.

The Davis administration is slowly finding its feet and I am certain that the new prime minister and his team will perform as expected. Yes, there will be a misstep or two but it must be clearly understood that The Bahamas is like a super tanker or container ship. It is not that easy to turn around at the drop of a hat. It will take time.

What is now the normal, an incoming administration automatically looks into the process of the award of contracts by its predecessor in office. There is nothing inherently wrong with this; it is merely good practice. If one did nothing criminal or grossly negligent while in office, there should be nothing to fear by these sorts of reviews.

There are two highly prominent reviews going on right now: one at the Water and Sewerage Corporation and one at Bahamas Public Parks and Public Beaches Authority.

It is interesting to note that the extra millions of dollars provided to parks and beaches came directly from the Ministry of Finance, then-headed by then-Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis.

Then-knmExecutive Chairman Shanendon Cartwright, even if he had tried, could never have sourced the alleged extra millions on his own.

Traditionally, here in The Bahamas, government contracts are awarded to supporters and members of the ruling party. While there is nothing sinister about this, the process is open to abuse and manipulation.

With our current dire economic situation, I would urge the Davis administration to watch every taxpayer dollar with the eyes of an eagle. The award of contracts must be transparent and made only after legitimate bidding. In the meantime, we await with bated breath concrete revelations about what the then-competent authority did or did not do relative to contracts.

I must encourage individuals to please be careful how you express opinions about Minnis. It is rumored that Minnis may have sought an investigation into parks and beaches. I find this a bit strange, if he did do so, in that all roads would lead straight down to the Cecil Wallace-Whitfield Centre, where all monies for contracts are approved.

Minnis, according to newspaper reports, has threatened to “burst the backsides” of anyone who attempts to talk what he said was nonsense about him. These words coming from a former prime minister who should be setting an example for civility.

Over the years, many of our leaders have uttered provocative quotes without understanding that words do have consequences. Shame on you, Dr. Minnis.

Ortland H. Bodie, Jr.

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