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No Deals - Bpl’S Chairman Off Limits

Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister.

Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister.

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

CBI Mobile – the software company owned by Bahamas Power and Light Chairman Donovan Moxey – cannot be approved for any contracts with the power provider, at least not while he’s on the board, Public Works Minister Desmond Bannister said yesterday as he sought to downplay concerns that the matter has sparked.

And there is “absolutely” no reason for anyone to be worried about it, Mr Bannister insisted.

This appears to contrast with Mr Moxey’s admission earlier this week that the company could still potentially receive such an award as long as he recused himself from the discussions and a final decision.

However, according to Mr Bannister’s remarks yesterday, CBI Mobile is essentially out of the running for any contracts with BPL. However, the minister was still relatively tight-lipped on the situation when reporters approached him on the sidelines of a press conference at the University of the Bahamas. 

Asked by The Tribune about public concerns of a potential conflict of interest, Mr Bannister said: “His company was not approved for anything. There is no conflict of interest.

“The chairman’s app-making company was not approved for anything (and) it can’t be approved while he’s chairman.

“It can’t be approved for anything while he’s chairman,” the Carmichael MP repeated when he was asked if it was problematic for Mr Moxey to admit his company was not being removed from any future contract offerings.

He did not answer a question about whether this was discussed with him before Mr Moxey was appointed, only responding: “It’s important for me to say what I just said.”

Referring to the matter yesterday, Mr Moxey told The Tribune: “The minister and I have discussed matters and I am fine with what he has said. I do not wish to discuss the matter further.”

Public outrage brewed this week after the new BPL chairman said he saw nothing wrong with the board giving his software company a contract once he is not a part of the process.

Some observers questioned if the Minnis administration was getting a slap on the wrist over the controversy.

Former Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller said if he was still the executive chairman of BPL, he would not have got off so easily.

“They would have killed me,” Mr Miller said on Tuesday.

Mr Moxey has also said he had a fiduciary responsibility to CBI Mobile’s shareholders when he was asked previously why he would not just remove his company from potential consideration.

In this case, Robert Myers, principal of the Organisation for Responsible Governance (ORG), previously said Mr Moxey removing himself from the decision-making process would not do enough to improve the optics surrounding potential conflict of interest. He added the new chairman needed to make a decision on whether he preferred to serve his own interests or that of BPL.

Having such a seat at BPL would give him an unfair advantage over his competitors, Mr Myers insisted.

The Nassau Guardian revealed earlier this week that Mr Moxey had lobbied several times in emails just months ago for BPL to contract CBI Mobile to use the bill payment app he had created, MobileAssist.

During a press conference on Monday, Mr Moxey would not give an undertaking that his company would not vie for future BPL contracts while he sat as chair, and when questioned further he said he could not speak for his entire board or shareholders, and would not do so.

Mr Moxey has maintained that no deal was ever reached with the BPL to use his app, adding there was not one currently in place. His view was that there is nothing wrong with his involvement in both companies as long as he recused himself from any board discussions on the matter.

Comments

TalRussell 2 months, 1 week ago

A comrades bullshi#@ness brush thinking OK 'lead board n contract'does undercuts ones fitness serve sanity. Good for crown minister stand against super minister all ministers PM - now go look new chairman.

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BahamasForBahamians 2 months, 1 week ago

Desmond ... you were on track to be the most competent minister in this cabinet.

You are definitely one of the smarter guys in the decision making room, why are you willfully engaging in acts that will erode public confidence in your leadership?

This BPL matter should've been a no brainer with full transparency.

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bogart 2 months, 1 week ago

IN ALL FAIRNESS TO MS. OSBOURNE WHO HAS SINCE GIVEN A GOOD EXPLAMNATION ON THE less than $50. makeup for the company pr shoot (hope she gets royalty fee on the use of her image) RECOMMENDED SHE BE PUT IN CHARGE OF THE GOVT INTEGRITY INVESTIGATIONS COMMITTEE.....,!!,

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licks2 2 months, 1 week ago

Counting ya chickens dem before they hatched aye? Just because yinna support yall friend publicly een mean she is what yinna say. . .STAY TUNED THERE BRUDDA. . .YOON HEAR THE LAST OF THAT MATTER YET!!!

THE LAST LAUGH IS THE BEST ONE THEY SAY AYE? SAME TIME. . .SAME BAT CHANNEL. . .

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TalRussell 2 months, 1 week ago

I wants believe 91,409 comrades showing up polling stations 10th May, 2017 vote up House, the 35 red shirts MP's, has be watchfully see if this is not sufficient scuttle any individuals appoint government board - even if as just a director - what hell will it take scuttle chairman's appoint? { You has realize this even if you reads somewhere that this is but a made up appoint trial run...... it ain't.... tis for real with interference meddling direct out PMO }. Isn't all appoints Servants of the People.... making it wide open fair comment by the People? Isn't all government contracts equally the People's business and open fair comment?

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bogart 2 months, 1 week ago

@licks2......hear ya ...pore people have only pore people fer friends.........yinna ..the rich...upper echelons politicians all looks out for each other....even not too long ago .... even we the pore even finds out they had....special lists .....not to cut off their 'lectricity....water...??....we pore aint hav hardly nothing to laugh at dese days... pore people done know no matter if ya hav pearly white smile or last laugh ....with or without makeup...we lights still off........an who hav it on ...still face blackouts...no matter....

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licks2 2 months, 1 week ago

True that. . .the political elite seem only to look out for their cohorts. . .AND THE POOR MAN HOLD ALL THE POWER. . .THE VOTE TO PUT THEM IN POWER!! This whole fight is about just that. . .THE POLITICAL ELITES FIGHTING THEMSELVES NOW. . .THEM SET RAPING WE WITH HIGH FUEL BILLS FOR BPL . . . JUST THINK ABOUT THE SUN AND YOU WILL SEE WHO THE "FIGHTING SET THEM" IS. . .THEY WAS MAKING ABOUT ONE BILLION A YEAR IS SUPPLYING BEC WITH FUEL. . .THE NEW DEAL WILL CUT THEM OUT OF PLENTY MONEY. . .THEY NOW PLAYING DIRTY. EVERYBODY KNOW THAT WOMAN IS ONE FORMER PM JACK. . .THE ONE SIDE OF THE FNM THAT WAS RAPING THE PEOPLE TOO. . .NOW THIS NEW SHERIFF TAKING THE COOKIE JAR FROM THEM. . .THEY DON'T LIKE THAT ONE BIT!! THIS THING GO DEEP. . .ALL THE WAY TO THE SUN. . .AND THEY BOYS THEM!!

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