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Deputy Pm Accused Of Discrediting Auditor

Phillip Brave Davis

Phillip Brave Davis

By AVA TURNQUEST

Tribun Chief Reporter

aturnquest@tribunemedia.net

LONG Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner yesterday accused Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis of seeking to discredit the Office of the Auditor General by undermining its official report into the Urban Renewal Small Home Repairs programme.

Mrs Butler-Turner said Mr Davis’ attempt to shift the focus from project weaknesses identified by senior civil servants was unfortunate and a veiled bid to dictate the scope of the House of Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee.

She added that his comments in the House on Wednesday demonstrated disregard and cast a negative aspersion on the autonomous government agency.

“The deputy prime minister really overstepped his boundaries,” she said.

“I think that it is a very negative aspersion cast on the auditor general in that Mr Davis is pretty much questioning the veracity of his auditing, and even went on to suggest that it was really not accurate because he’s not a contractor. I find that to be most ludicrous and preposterous.”

“Auditors audit everything,” Mrs Butler-Turner said, “the bottom line is when they audit something it’s about bringing clarity and accountability into how monies are spent. Mr Davis cast huge credibility questions on the office, this is an office that not only has tenure but is autonomous and it’s supposed to be able to do audits wherever is required within government agencies and ministries.”

On Wednesday, Mr Davis tabled a technical evaluation report commissioned on phase one of the programme.

It declared that the programme had received value for money, contradicting Auditor General Terrance Bastian’s report that stated value could not be determined.

Mr Bastian’s audit covers the period of July 1, 2012 to September 30, 2014, and surveyed a sample of 75 homes.

The second report was conducted by technical firms Island Dimensions & Development Co Ltd and J D Chisholm & Associates, and had a sample size of 80 homes or 25 per cent of the 312 homes repaired during the project’s initial phase.

While the technical review disputed the audit’s findings concerning incomplete homes, it also shared a number of the audit’s recommendations such as the strict enforcement of proper construction supervision during repair works and a standardised system of payment.

During his address in Parliament, Mr Davis explained that the original audit was conducted by accountants, and its findings should be tested by experts in the field of construction. He stressed that it was important to address any “erroneous information” provided to the public as a result of the leak of the audit.

Mr Davis acknowledged that the project’s execution did not follow normal government protocols, a major critique of the audit; however, he explained that this was an intentional decision made by the executive to circumvent bureaucratic inertia and provide immediate relief.

Given discrepancies highlighted by the ministry’s report, Mr Davis suggested that Public Accounts Committee Chairman Hubert Chipman may wish to interview Mr Bastian over the veracity of some of the findings in his report.

Yesterday, Mr Chipman said he had not yet been able to review the independent report due to illness; however, he insisted that House Speaker Dr Kendal Major should not have let Mr Davis “attack” the auditor general’s credibility.

Meanwhile, Mrs Butler-Turner insisted that Mr Davis’ remarks concerning bureaucratic inertia stigmatised civil servants in the various agencies and was not a credible reason to forego established government protocols.

Mrs Butler-Turner said: “(Mr Davis) actually picked on the points in the report that obviously strengthened his argument, to say that the entire report by (Mr Bastian) is being disregarded because of those things he perceives to be negative.

“I just think it sets a poor precedent, it’s undermining the entire process,” the opposition MP said.

“I definitely stand by the auditor general’s report, why not, that is the constituted arm of government. It’s there to audit every agency of the government, and this is the first time that the veracity and credibility of the office in my opinion is called in to question, and no less by the deputy prime minister.”

Comments

lkalikl 5 years, 2 months ago

The DPM and this entire corrupt government must resign.

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Islandgirl 5 years, 2 months ago

Not just resign, they must be made to go. Now. The country cannot last another two years under this foul, self serving, disingenuous collection of inept politicians.

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birdiestrachan 5 years, 2 months ago

There is nothing wrong with getting a second report. Perhaps Butler Turner can go ahead and get her own report. Mistakes were made . But I will never believe Mrs. Pratt or Mr: Allen stole any money or material.

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sheeprunner12 5 years, 2 months ago

The PM or the PLP Cabinet willnot resign ............ they are intoxicated with power ........... they must be removed from office ............ but in our system, the PM& Cabinet has almost absolute power and it can be very difficult to remove a corrupt group from power without a viable and credible Opposition .................. that is where LBT has to raise the ante for the next 18 months

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asiseeit 5 years, 2 months ago

Of course he is discrediting the auditor, he has no choice. You think a thief is just going to admit they stole from you? This corrupt government is killing our country, Bahamians better wake the hell up, we are going backwards at an alarming rate just so these kleptocrates and their minions can get rich. What a fucking disaster!

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MonkeeDoo 5 years, 2 months ago

Fox Hill is full of innocent people including murderers and rapists ! Brave innocent too !!!

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newcitizen 5 years, 2 months ago

Isn't this man a wanted criminal in the US?

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sheeprunner12 5 years, 2 months ago

And to add insult to injury .............. Brave hiring ex-cons and jail birds and giving away the taxpayers money under the disguise of "second chance" ............ but if anyone apply for a government or private job, they have to get references, passport/birth certificate and police record ................... this is just an abuse of the MOPW or UR2.0 budget ......... SAD,SAD,SAD

What they really need to do is just bulldoze that whole part of Nassau from Collins Wall to Nassau Street south to Wulff Road ................ That is where our $15 million goes down the black hole slums ...................... bull doze it and rebuild a new tech city ....... UR3.0

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Well_mudda_take_sic 5 years, 2 months ago

Oh, please! This pudgy fella with the short stubby grubby dirty sticky fingers is of such utterly disgusting and disgraceful discredit to himself that he has effectively estopped himself from being able to discredit in any way anyone else under any circumstance!!

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TalRussell 5 years, 2 months ago

Comrades, i take it none y'all - got's much liking for the DPM cuz ya sure is so damn nasty tongued, towards the DPM.

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sheeprunner12 5 years, 2 months ago

Agreed ............... BTW there is no DPM in our Constitution ......... I hope Brave is not collecting a salary for a position that does not exist

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SP 5 years, 2 months ago

.. Yes....The PLP Sucks Big Ones And Need To Be Gone ... Are The FNM Any Better? ..

When will you group of loud mouthed geniuses demand your FNM demigods declare what happened to the $5M taken from the peoples Treasury that former FNM Cabinet minister of tourism absconded with March-April 2012?

Which FNM pirates were paid over $300,000.00 for the "state of the art" Saunders Beach "terlits"?

Where are your chief pirate FNM saviours BLT and Minnis with a disclosure and recommendation for prosecution of their guilty Cabinet minister colleagues in these scandals?

PLP and FNM are ALL PIRATES

Just because your preferred group of FNM pirates are not the lead ship at the moment doesn't make them any less pirates.

How much more money disappeared without a trace from the peoples Treasury during the FNM 2007-2012 reign of piracy and plunder that we fool taxpayer zombies either never got wind of, and or, are too goddamn complacent and brainwashed to have enough sense to demand accountability of our own hard earned money?

Heard Of Brainless Jackass Zombies STFU !

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