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  • COMMUNICATION BY THE HON. THOMAS DESMOND BANNISTER MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT (CARMICHAEL) & MINISTER OF PUBLIC WORKS CONCERNING THE ERNST & YOUNG REPORT ON THE BAHAMAS POWER AND LIGHT COMPANY

    Mr. Speaker, I rise to make a communication on the Ernst & Young report on BPL as previously promised.

    I intend to table the report without much comment, except to provide some guidance for colleagues and for the media. In doing so, I note that regrettably the report was leaked to one media outlet, which published a story on it without the benefit of these comments. As a result, the reputation of the leader of the opposition may have suffered an unwarranted attack, something that I sincerely regret.

    First, Sir, there are a number of BPL employees who, by virtue of their jobs had to be investigated. I am pleased to say that though their names were mentioned in the report, most of them were subsequently exonerated of any wrongdoing whatsoever. They continue to be highly valued team members at BPL. In this respect I wish to expressly thank:

    Mrs. Cecile Greene

    Ms. Ene Maura

    Ms. Garnell Sheppard

    Ms. Chrislyn Dean and

    Mr. Kevin Bowleg

    BPL values their service, and we look forward to many years of continued productivity and goodwill.

    Secondly, Mr. Speaker, the report makes an allegation in relation to the leader of the opposition. I wish to confirm that the allegation is incorrect. It is based on incomplete records at BPL, and I wish to say unequivocally that there is no evidence whatsoever that the leader of the opposition did anything

    wrong. With these comments, Sir, I wish to table Volumes 1 and 2 of the report together with a letter from Permanent Secretary Higgs together with a letter from Permanent Secretary Higgs which completely

    exonerates the leader of the opposition. I know him to be an honourable man, and would not wish to see his reputation besmirched.

    Mr. Speaker, I conclude by advising first that new procurement policies are now in place at BPL. They were desperately needed, and will be scrupulously followed. Finally Sir, there is a refreshing new culture of transparency and accountability at BPL. We intend to ensure that BPL remains a special place to work, and we look forward to employees enthusiastically buying into the new culture, and supporting the new management initiatives.

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