Claims improper practice used in rental of consumer protection office


Tribune Staff Reporters

THE deputy chairman of the Consumer Protection Commission claims improper practices led the government to choose the agency’s new rental space, a claim Economic Affairs Minister Michael Halkitis denied yesterday.

Tyrone “Rock” Morris, who the Davis administration appointed CPC deputy chairman last year, claims the government is paying too much money to rent the CPC’s new space off Tonique Williams Darling Highway and that the facility is owned by someone connected to the Progressive Liberal Party.


ECONOMICS Affairs Minister Michael Halkitis. Photo: Austin Fernander

Mr Halkitis dismissed him as disgruntled yesterday, but the government has not provided details of the process surrounding the selection. 

Mr Morris claims the cost is at least $50k per month –- a claim The Tribune could not independently verify and that government officials deny without specifying the cost.

 “I am the deputy chairman,” Mr Morris said on Monday. “I don’t know anything about what’s been done. This particular board has removed me from the communications process that we have in place and the board is meeting without me as the deputy chair. The bottom line is that the whole process is corrupted.”

 “We were looking around, right, and we going to make a recommendation because we had a number of buildings that we were looking at, and we would have wanted to entertain any number of bids in regards to it. That’s the way it is done. That’s how you get competitive bids and that’s how you will know that it’s not your cousin, your uncle, your auntie or some friends or sweetheart who you’re giving the job to.”

 “They are spending the people’s money without due process and, to me, it is wrong, it’s corrupted, and it needs to be exposed. And if what I’m saying is not correct, tell them to show the Bahamian people the lease agreement.”

 On Monday, a ceremony opening the building which houses the CPC and the Consumer Affairs Unit was held.

 The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) interviewed Mr Morris last week.

 Free National Movement Chairman Michael Pintard said the PAC interviewed CPC chairman Walter Ferguson yesterday.

 He said Mr Ferguson could not confirm how much it costs to rent the new space.

 He said the owner of the building –– a man he identified as Tilly Burrows –– would be invited for an interview next week. He said a Ministry of Public Services official responsible for rent issues would also be invited.

 Before Cabinet’s meeting yesterday, Mr Halkitis told reporters that the process for moving to the new building followed the Ministry of Public Service’s protocols and norms, insisting nothing untoward occurred.

 “What we have is a disgruntled individual who has decided that he would make certain allegations,” he claimed. “Boards, committees, ministries, departments do not decide where they want to go. The accommodations are settled by the Ministry of Public Service.”

 “I know some figures have been thrown out to say well okay, it’s a lot of money. The square footage that we are paying falls within the range of what the public service pays.”


Well_mudda_take_sic 5 months, 3 weeks ago

What else is new? This particular corrupt deal is really chicken feed compared to the many other outrageously costly long-term lease deals the current and past governments have cut with entities directly or indirectly owned or controlled by government officials and their family members, financial-backers, sweethearts and other friends and cronies.

For many decades it has been standard operating practice for corrupt government officials and their family members, financial-backers, sweethearts and other friends and cronies to get awarded the benefit of exorbitantly lucrative long-term lease deals of one kind or another.

Dumbo Halkitis and Simpleton Simon are well aware of many of the more corrupt lease deals costing the Public Treasury mega millions of dolllars each year, yet they are seemingly quite content for the 'non-connected' taxpayers to be most unfairly burdened with harsh tax enforcement and even more draconian unannounced taxes and fees of every kind conceiveable.

And believe me when I say PM Davis has his own comprehensive listing with full historical details of every corrupt lease deal the current and past governments have ever entered into.


DWW 5 months, 3 weeks ago

too true too true. the more things change the more they stay the same.


birdiestrachan 5 months, 3 weeks ago

What about the post office deal was that corrupt????


moncurcool 5 months, 3 weeks ago

How do you keep a country dumb and and allow mismanagement of public funds? You ensure that you never allow a Freedom of Information Act to be properly enacted.


DWW 5 months, 3 weeks ago

the fact that it is not disclosed... Where is the FOIA commissioner when you want one eh? If you hide it we all assume evil at work but hey he prolly in church on sunday so no worries all his evil sins washed away in that 2 hours stint.


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