‘Contractor Over-Billed By $1.8m’

Housing and Environment Minister Romauld Ferreira. (File photo)

Housing and Environment Minister Romauld Ferreira. (File photo)


Deputy Chief Reporter


A COMPANY contracted to do work in a Carmichael Road subdivision had its bill heavily reduced after Ministry of Public Works officials were unable to prove it had completed work it claimed to have done.

In documents tabled in the House of Assembly by Housing and Environment Minister Romauld Ferreira, Priton Bahamas Limited claimed to have completed work in the amount of $2,192,019.84. However, upon investigation by officials only $367,288.61 worth of work could be proven.

Priton’s agent, according to a company search, also tabled yesterday, was listed as Valentine S Grimes. 

Several big items were slashed, including a line item for trucking services and fill. Priton claimed to be owed $867,649.71 for this service, but the ministry had only agreed to $311,913.89.

Salaries were also slashed from $981,500 to a recommendation of zero from officials.

National Insurance Board contributions in the amount of $18,944.42  also had the same recommendation.

This was documented in a memorandum from the Ministry of Public Works.

“The ministry’s technical team has reviewed the documents submitted by the Department of Housing with respect to the PPP agreement with Priton Bahamas Limited for the development of the Carmichael Road Subdivision,” the memo dated June 26, 2018 read.

“We note that Priton is claiming $2,192,019.84, which is broken down into 11 different items for work done to date on the above mentioned subdivision. The Ministry of Public Works can only recommend $367,288.61 be paid to Priton Bahamas Limited; any additional amount would have to be subject of negotiations between the government and Priton for which the ministry stands ready to assist.”

The memo further attached a minute paper from a senior engineer depicting the breakdown of the claim and the ministry’s recommendations.

An invoice for $4,744,359.41 from Priton was also tabled in Parliament. It was dated December 31, 2018 and notes this money was owed as of January 1, 2019.

It is not clear how this document played into a verbal back and forth between Official Opposition Leader Philip “Brave” Davis and Housing Minister Romauld Ferreira yesterday in the House of Assembly.

However, it prompted Mr Davis to insist the minister “misled” the House. Based on this assertion, he called on Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis to “do something” about it.

The issue spilled over from last week Wednesday’s afternoon sitting.

Mr Davis pointed out yesterday that in that sitting Mr Ferreira impugned his privilege when he suggested that he and former Prime Minister Perry Christie committed some form of wrongdoing.

Mr Davis insisted the minister produce evidence to his claims.

House Speaker Halson Moultrie interjected, asking whether Mr Davis wanted the matter to be referred to the Committee on Privilege or for documents to be tabled.

Mr Ferriera was also asked to respond to Mr Davis.

His response, in which he referred to archived stories from years prior, sparked several arguments.

Ultimately, Mr Davis insisted Mr Ferreira reveal to the House the true value of the invoice and because he came prepared to table several documents, some seated opposition MPs expressed disappointment that it appeared the minister had been forewarned this issue would be addressed yesterday.

And when the documents were tabled, Mr Davis insisted Mr Ferreira misled the House of Assembly.


DDK 1 year, 5 months ago

Too bad The Government is not honest and astute enough to have a Ministry of Public Works that could carry out its own public works.....


Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 5 months ago

Why can't The Tribune obtain the company records of Priton Bahamas Limited and trace through any of its corporate shareholders and directors to find out who are the warm blooded individuals behind the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Agreement? Surely this is information of great public interest. These individuals apparently were engaged in a multi-million dollar fraudulent scheme designed to rip off the Minnis-led FNM government, i.e. us taxpayers. Surely the Minnis-led FNM government must know the names of these individuals. After all, what kind of government would enter into a multi-million dollar PPP in which they do not know the names of all the warm blooded principals involved?! And why does the Minnis-led FNM government seek to protect the names of the swindlers involved? You can bet your last dollar that Valentine Grimes was expecting to get his "share" of the PPP's profits whether by way of distributed profits or legal fees! Sad to see that one of SLOP's boys from the past is still able to play the looting game. It's now a given that Minnis and Turnquest have done nothing to close the major open faucets that are freely flowing and bleeding our public treasury dry. LMAO


licks2 1 year, 5 months ago

Excellent questions. . .I cannot contribute any better than this. . .so I will only tag on to you sir. . .these are some dang very serious and pointed questions!!


DWW 1 year, 5 months ago

Exactly. Meanwhile i have to take yet another copy of my passport to the bank and the passport office. Quality of tribune reporting is declining.


birdiestrachan 1 year, 5 months ago

Ferreira is not speaking the Truth about this matter.


SP 1 year, 5 months ago

As Priton’s agent was listed as Valentine S Grimes, no one should be surprised that the government was over-billed by $1.8m. If they take a closer look at the individuals involved in the PPP they will find a grouping of the usual pirate suspects behind the scheme to defraud the treasury.

The only shocker here is that Grimes and crew normal modus operandi was actually caught, exposed, and derailed!

Our country is absolutely inundated with these types of sociopaths that truly believe it is their GOD given right to get away with this type of piracy.

Valentine S Grimes and his crew of pirates should not be allowed to simply walk away scott free for their attempt of stealing from the peoples' treasury! These alleged criminals should be charged with attempted fraud, convicted, and jailed!


bogart 1 year, 5 months ago

CLAIMED COMPLETED WORK = $2,192,019.84.......VERSUS.......INVESTIGATED WORTH OF WORK COULD BE PROVEN = $367,288.61...... In putting together the pricing of da CONTRACT, the gubbermint officials should follow the regulations standard and all the number of civil servants imputting their knowledge.


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