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Deputy PM ‘misled’ Parliament over BAMSI

Official Opposition Leader Philip 'Brave' Davis.

Official Opposition Leader Philip 'Brave' Davis.

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

WORKS Minister Philip “Brave” Davis yesterday backtracked from his initial comments that the Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute’s fire-damaged dorm’s insurance policy had lapsed.

Instead, he confirmed the $2.6m structure never had all-risk insurance coverage, something that was not revealed until two months after it was severely damaged by flames on January 15.

He said this oversight was due to an “administrative error”.

Mr Davis said the contractor stands fully liable for the construction outlay to date totalling $2,550,864.15. However, estimates already submitted to the government peg reconstruction costs at around $5.5m, Mr Davis said.

This comes two weeks after the deputy prime minister told parliamentarians that the building’s contractor, Audley Hanna of Paradigm Construction, was negligent in paying the dorm’s annual insurance premium.

During the February 25 House of Assembly session, Mr Davis said when Mr Hanna signed the building contract, he had everything that was required to take on the project with the Ministry of Works, which included a contractor’s all-risk insurance.

However, Mr Davis’ tone changed in the House yesterday as he admitted that Mr Hanna submitted every required document to the government – except an insurance policy certificate. He said he did not receive the contractor’s file until March 2, which was when he said he learned the facts of the matter.

In its place was an insurance policy quote from RoyalStar Assurance for all-risk insurance for a six-month period from the commencement of the project.

Had Mr Hanna paid the insurance premium, he would have had to come up with “a mere” $23,746.65, Mr Davis said.

“There were several indicators that led me personally to examine the relevant file concerning the insurance of the male dormitory,” Mr Davis said.

“I am now in a position to say that the contractor provided all that he was required, save a certificate for all-risk insurance. What the contractor did provide was only a quotation of cost from RoyalStar Assurance for all-risk insurance for a six-month period from commencement of the project.”

Despite the absence of the insurance certificate, Mr Davis said money was still issued to the contractor.

The project’s routing sheet, which he tabled in parliament, clearly specified that the original copy of the contractor’s all-risk insurance, with public liability no less than $1m, among several other forms of verification was to be submitted before $520,000 or 20 per cent of the contract’s value was issued to the contractor.

Mr Davis said the files on the contract, which he did not receive until March 2, left many questions regarding who gave authorisation for a series of payouts.

“It is noted that mobilisation was issued thereafter. What the file does not tell me is who took the decision to advance the mobilisation without the requisite insurance, what intervention if any was made to ensure that this requirement was met once identified, and why the contract, which has been substantially delayed was allowed to continue without this critical requirement.”

He added: “In the construction industry, large project contractors generally maintain some type of all-risk insurance – even when not engaged in any projects – so as to ensure that when an opportunity arises, he is ready for competition.

“Smaller contractors on the other hand are usually not able to afford continual insurance as many of them live from project to project and those projects may be few and far between. They therefore tend to engage insurance on a project-by-project basis, lasting the projected length of a contract.”

Mr Davis said while this administration has historically been known to “give those in need a hand up” there could be no plausible explanation for what happened in this case.

He said while he could not speculate, if there was an agreement for the Ministry of Works to advance the premium to the insurance company from the mobilisation payment, the policy should have been in place.

“I mention this because I am advised that this has been done in the past to assist contractors’ qualification for contractual works.

“If he had done so, a certificate of insurance would have been included on our file from the outset, therefore, the contractor was in breach.”

Mr Davis said the Ministry of Works was now making a determination as to how the government will recover this loss from the contractor.

Since the fire, two options have been submitted. Mr Davis said the first is to either gut the building to its foundation and rebuild, or to totally demolish the structure and build a new one.

“Estimates in hand target the reconstruction cost at around $5.5m. The increase in cost takes into consideration the cost to reconfigure the units from single to double occupancy, ordinary inflation, and value added tax (VAT).”

The net cost to the government will be the cost of reconstruction, less the expenditure for the structure destroyed by fire, amounting to just under $3m, Mr Davis said.

Last month, Mr Hanna told a reporter he thought the dorm was covered by insurance at the time of the fire. He also said the dorm was covered by a firm called Southern Alliance, a company that The Tribune has found is not registered by the Insurance Commission of The Bahamas.

Comments

Honestman 7 years, 6 months ago

This is WAY beyond incompetent! Also, why does the press continually refer to the DPM as Philip "Brave" Davis? What bravery has this wannabe political leader ever displayed? Can someone enlighten me? If Davis possessed a grain of moral fiber he would hand in his resignation forthwith. But therein lies the problem.

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SP 7 years, 6 months ago

........ Vell, Vell, Vell, ... Vere You Been? .... You Just Reach Aye? ......

This pirate was "Brave" enough to consistently con the Bahamian people for his entire political career and stand up in the House Of Assembly for decades telling us the strong stench of corruption dung emanating from him is actually an exclusive Chanel fragrance that we should all learn to love!

If there is an iota of truth that "where there is smoke, there is fire" ... This guy has been putting off more smoke than the Harold Road dump FOR DECADES!

Sounds pretty dam "BRAVE" to me for him to even try the shyt he's gotten away with!

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proudloudandfnm 7 years, 6 months ago

PLP wicked boy. One year ago 2.2 million. Burn it down and boom!! 5.5 million to rebuild...

Bend over Bahamas! Take this reamin like a man....

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SP 7 years, 6 months ago

The PLP Goose Is No Better Then The FNM Gander.....Jail Them All

Before you point that finger at this lot of pirates, don't forget Hubert Ingraham's FNM Cabinet Minister of Tourism that walked away with $5M in his shell company that BOTH PLP & FNM TURNED A BLIND EYE TO!

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asiseeit 7 years, 6 months ago

I am astounded that this man still has a job. Do they really have that little regard for the Bahamian people? How in the hell does 2.5 million turn into 5.5 million, even with the changes? I would love to see the plans and also hear what other construction firm would quote on said plans. This is all Borrowed money, every last stinking cent so 5.5 million is going to be much more once the interest is paid. I have no problem giving people a hand up, but if those people bite that hand, we have a problem and it seems to me the hand has been bitten. I also love how he says he does not know who was in charge of granting the contract. Hey stupid, who is the minister of works? The buck stops with you Mr. Davis, do the honorable thing and resign.

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DonAnthony 7 years, 6 months ago

How does the cost of the dorm increase more than 100% in a year? Not hard to see what is being done. The fix is in. The new building will cost 3 million, so the fraudulent contractor does not pay one cent for his dishonesty and the Bahamian taxpayer covers for this cronyism. Mr. Davis should really resign, we are sinking to new lows and the corruption stinks to high heaven.

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Economist 7 years, 6 months ago

FREEDOM OF IMFORMATION ACT is a must....NOW

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SP 7 years, 6 months ago

Shut the dam country down until a FOIA is in place and clean these pirates out once and for all!

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justthefactsplease 7 years, 6 months ago

I am with you on that...time for talk is over we need swift and sustained action.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 7 years, 6 months ago

Aahhhh! Brave's short stubby grubby dirty sticky fingers are costing hard working honest Bahamians a fortune! Someone said Brave was overhead saying with a straight face that one possible way of recovering the BAMSI fire losses from Mr. Hanna's construction company would be for the government to give Mr. Hanna even more generously padded construction business in the future!! This guy Brave is an utter disgrace to the entire human race as is Perry Christie for being afraid to forthwith apply the axe to Brave's neck.

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asiseeit 7 years, 6 months ago

Misled = Lied. They love to twist words, they are Lawyers after all but people can read between the lines. The Hanna fella is laughing all the way to the bank while we as a people weep.

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Alltoomuch 7 years, 6 months ago

Do you think that this time it will cover the cost of insurance??

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TalRussell 7 years, 6 months ago

DPM 'Brave' sings:

"Da Paradigm Tide Is Getting High But I'm Holding On, Head Above Rising Sea Waters, To Lead PLP Come 2017 - Cuz I'm Not The Kinda Man Who Gives Up 'Being PM' Just Like That. Oh No, I Can Ride-Out V. Alfred's Placing Da 'No Insurance' Blame On me."

....///https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQXqk...">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQXqk...

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asiseeit 7 years, 6 months ago

I am almost to the point of "F#@K it". The politicians do not care about what they are doing to this country, they are getting rich and enriching those within their circle. The vast majority of people do not care or do not understand what is happening to their country. Why the hell should I lose sleep over the situation? These politicians will do as they please, the people will do nothing and are foolish to actually go along, reelect, and even sing their praises. To hell with it, I give up. The sad fact is this country is fucked and there is nothing I can do about it. Therefore I say To hell with you Bahamas, you are not worth my time or health stressing over your stupidity. Carry on smartly, straight to hell!

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TalRussell 7 years, 6 months ago

Comrades another House of Assembly session with more reminders surfacing why the risk is too great to allow PLP politicians be trusted to grow we nation's farm-produce crops, fruits and veggies.

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realfreethinker 7 years, 6 months ago

How the hell does the cost of the same size building double in price one year later. That would require the inflation rate to jump 1000s% for that to happen. This is bullshit that must be called out.

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TalRussell 7 years, 6 months ago

Comrade no matter the why, the costs always doubles or more, cuz this is what happens when, tis we the taxpayers always ending up with paying the damn bill.

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realfreethinker 7 years, 6 months ago

The fire happened Jan 15th the next day the question was " was the building insured ? ", but yet you didn't get the file until march 2nd ?. What kind of ass these politicians take us for > that's either another lie,or gross incompetence,either way we need to see the back of brave,heading out of the cabinet.

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observer2 7 years, 6 months ago

Bit by bit information is coming out....looks like the insurance quote was from RoyalStar Assurance, who is the beneficial owner of the insurance company?

What was the value of the construction project under the insurance quote?

Why did the value to reconstruct the building go up so much?

Was the contract under bid?

With no Freedom of Information Act you can't really see who all of the "related parties" are.

Who was the attorney for the Contractor? Who was the attorney for the Government.

Did the Contract have all of his business licenses up to date?

Did the contractor have public liability insurance?

What other contracts did the Contractor get during the last 20 years?

Was the contract put up for competitive bid?

Understand from one of the big Bay Street contractors that they have been essentially shut out of the market because nothing is coming up for competitive bid.

Who are the sub contractors?

At this rate all of the VAT they are collecting will be wasted. But I guess certain people will stop paying the VAT like they stop paying BEC, Water, Telephone, Real Property Tax, Customs duty Etc. Etc. Etc. Lets see how collections are going in one year

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ThisIsOurs 7 years, 6 months ago

Excellent questions. It's mind boggling to me that they aren't in the article. The ?Tribune needs to do bettter

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thomas 7 years, 6 months ago

Will the same contractor be used to rebuild?

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birdiestrachan 7 years, 6 months ago

It is to bad there was no insurance on the place. They should have had insurance. and Mr. Davis should have waited until he had all of the facts before he made any statements. Now Dr: Minnis and the FNM who love to run their mouths will have something to run their mouths about for ever. The PLP should be sure to cross their ts and dot their I. It seems that the FNM hopes and dreams is that BAMSI will fail it is a set back for sure, and the ball is in the FNM court. They should also remember when you wish others evil, one day evil will come to you.

But we do know that without a Good Friday there is no Easter Sunday.

I can assure you that there are many people who do not have insurance on their homes, because they can not afford to buy it.

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B_I_D___ 7 years, 6 months ago

Shake my head and just keep asking why...As part of a government construction project, you need to have proof of insurance...not some damn quote...it's not optional...unless you are a PLP croony. Now, your own personal house insurance, you can do what you damn well please. But government contractors are required to have the insurance...NOT OPTIONAL.

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themessenger 7 years, 6 months ago

Well Birdie, it appears that some the evil the PLP has wished on us the Bahamian people has come home to roost. Davis & Co,Evil personified!!.

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birdiestrachan 7 years, 6 months ago

I would like to know why did the man burn the place down. is he a crazy man or a spiteful man. or was he paid to do so.? I sure would like to know what that was all about what was his motive? But he did make some people very happy it seems there are many who are rejoicing in this tragic affair.

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realfreethinker 7 years, 6 months ago

Birdie are you playing with a full deck ? This is not a FNM /PLP thing,this is about a government run amuck, wasting our hard earn monies,it's about incompetence,and corruption.

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ThisIsOurs 7 years, 6 months ago

Nobody rejoicing birdie, but a dreyload of people completely passed off

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John 7 years, 6 months ago

Shut up and Shake! Carnival is a coming, or is it?

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ThisIsOurs 7 years, 6 months ago

Parties and Games. The dictator's time immemorial solution to unrest among the people.

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John 7 years, 6 months ago

Soon time to register to vote. Voter's cards are free but under this government the price will double by next year. Will that mean they will become too free? hmm...

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duppyVAT 7 years, 6 months ago

Brave and VAG should resign .......................... they lied and covered up the BAMSI fire. Perry needs to save his hide ...................... or is it all going to implode on the PLP????????? I sure hope so and I believe 60% of Bahamian voters agree with me .................. the FNM shall move for a vote of NO CONFIDENCE in this government right away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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ThisIsOurs 7 years, 6 months ago

Yep this is untenable. He really needs to resign. Sheer incompetence. He has the nerve to stand up in parliament and say ~gee, I'm not sure who to blame (shrug shoulders), the documents don't tell me who's responsible

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ThisIsOurs 7 years, 6 months ago

Thinking about it, this is crazy, a 100 million (insanely and inexplicably ballooned from 20 million) dollar project and you don't know who's responsible for making a decision on the contractor? The very first critical success factor you hit?? The foundation of the project's success? And you weren't intimately involved in this crucial step? But Dr Minnis needs the minister's position to walk onto a piece of OPEN property in Andros?? this is absolutely unbelievable, LITERALLY

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TalRussell 7 years, 6 months ago

Comrades in case you might have missed it, this is the first and only time since being returned as government in 2012, that the nation witnessed a member of the PLP cabinet, taking to the floor of the People's Honourable House of Assembly to expose their own dirty linen in public. You know it serious when even the DPM's cabinet colleagues sat and listened with big ears and hushed lips to his every word of an almost confession of how badly he and his cabinet colleagues really messed-up over BMSI. This was no ordinary member of the PM's cabinet, but the sitting DPM and recognized by enough PLP's to be the leading heir apparent contender to ascend to the party's leadership.

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B_I_D___ 7 years, 6 months ago

The heir apparent part is what REALLY scares me...REALLY REALLY scares me. I'm not a huge fan of Christie's, not denying that, but Davis...OH HELL NO!!

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ThisIsOurs 7 years, 6 months ago

Yeah, posed the question a few weeks ago, what happens if PGC passes away. I wanted the PM to think about who's hands he would be leaving his daughters futures in. (I would want to think he wants his children's future to be based in this country)

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SP 7 years, 6 months ago

............... Other Countries Are Doing All Possible To Fight Political Corruption .................. ................................................ Bahamas Basks' and Swims In It! ........................................

http://jis.gov.jm/government-reaffirm...">http://jis.gov.jm/government-reaffirm...

http://www.iadb.org/en/news/news-rele...">http://www.iadb.org/en/news/news-rele...

http://www.iadb.org/en/news/news-rele...">http://www.iadb.org/en/news/news-rele...

As much as Perry Gladstone Christie talks, the words "we will stop political corruption" has never passed his lips!

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UserOne 7 years, 6 months ago

Why is anyone surprised? The last time the PLP were in the members were causing scandals and Christie did nothing.

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SP 7 years, 6 months ago

Anyone else notice Brave Davis dumb "deer in headlights" look? .... Like ya'll caught ME?

http://tribune242.com/users/photos/20...">http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin..." alt="Vell Muddo...Dey catch ME red handed dis time">

http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin...">Vell Muddo...Dey catch ME red handed dis time by SP

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duppyVAT 7 years, 6 months ago

Good one SP .................. Brave Davis is only "DPM" in name (the position does not legally exist). And Brave will never be PM because his hands are not clean ......... they are grubby, sticky little black fingers that have touched a lot of blood and dope money. The mere fact that Perry chose him as DPM tells us a lot about Perry's leadership ability.

Hell ................ the man still cannot go to the USA !!!!!!!!!!!! He is blacklisted by Uncle Sam.

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