TUESDAY, OCT. 26: The Auditor General’s Special Report of October 2010 on the Motor Vehicles Safety and Emissions Testing Programme speaks for itself. The Auditor General briefed me carefully on the contents of the Report and has my strong support in her decision to put the story in full, and publicly, to the Legislature.

I shall be interested to see how Bermuda’s Legislature receives the Report, and to hear what recommendations the parliamentarians may make.

Road transport policy is a delegated matter for the Bermuda Government in which Government House normally plays no part, but poor governance and poor accountability of large sums of public funds become issues for the Governor and the whole Island of Bermuda. The Auditor General’s Report paints a picture of sloppy mismanagement and a lack of adequate controls. Any contract which is allowed to treble in cost over 4 or 5 years cannot be well managed.

I was glad to read the swift reaction of the Finance Minister, including a commitment to change the present arrangements and, if I understand the thrust of what is proposed, to restore proper accountability and responsibility to the Ministry of Works & Engineering, whose procurement procedures appear to have been evaded in this case.

As for a Police investigation of the genesis and implementation of this building contract, the Bermuda Police Service liaise with the Auditor General on public sector contracts under scrutiny.  If anyone, inside or outside of Government, has evidence to substantiate allegations of criminality, I urge that person to give it, as soon as possible, to the Auditor General or to the Police. The Police would not hesitate to investigate such evidence and, if upheld, to put forward a case for prosecution. Recently we saw them do so in the cases of a consultant to the Ministry of Tourism and of officials in the Ministry of Works & Engineering.

Richard Gozney, Governor
26 October 2010