PLP leader Philip Davis. (File photo)
By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party leader Philip “Brave” Davis was critical yesterday of two government bodies set up to handle relief and reconstruction in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.
A “mess” was how Mr Davis described the leadership of Iram Lewis, state minister for disaster preparedness, management and reconstruction and Managing Director of the Bahamas Disaster Reconstruction Authority Kay Forbes-Smith.
He said yesterday that he had no confidence in the Minnis administration’s ability to conduct this effort, adding it created too much bureaucracy.
He also defended the Small Homes Repair Programme under the former Christie administration. Mrs Forbes-Smith announced the government will roll out its own version of the programme on February 10.
“…We were not giving half the funds down to contractors and giving the rest without the works being done,” he said yesterday during a press conference at PLP headquarters, speaking about the PLP’s version of the programme.
“Contractors were mobilised anywhere from 10 to 20 percent depending on what works needed to be done and inspections were done in phases and contractual amounts released upon the contractor completing that phase. On completion there was always a small retention to ensure that there was no remedial work to be done and once we were satisfied that no remedial work was necessary going forward (and) no check lists then the funds were released so I don’t know where she got that from.”
He also said: “She (Mrs Forbes-Smith) is a disaster and she presides over the disaster committee.
“I am concerned because on all accounts she is a divisive figure and we are not confident that she will be discharging that function in a non-partisan way.”
Regarding Mr Lewis he had similar comments.
“Again, another disaster because it just appears to be one bureaucracy over another.”
Mr Davis also slammed the government over its resolution last week to borrow $587m to pay for Hurricane Dorian related costs, saying much of the money had nothing to do with the disaster.