Auditor General: Prison spends $400,000 on bread annually

Auditor General: Prison spends $400,000 on bread annually
An aerial view of The Bahamas Department of Corrections (BDOC).

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — An Auditor General’s report into operations at The Bahamas Department of Correctional Services has revealed that the facility may be spending more than necessary on food items.

The report, which was tabled in Parliament yesterday, outlines key findings for the period July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2019.

The number of inmate admissions amounts to 2,558 persons as of June 30, 2019, with facilities capacity being 1,000 persons.

The total number of staff amounts to 734  – of which 715 are uniformed and 19 are non-uniformed.

The report averaged that one officer is responsible for four inmates.

“This can imply a heavy workload which was noted in the comments of several unit heads that were interviewed,” the report noted.

Among its observations of the facility, the report noted that three different areas of BDCS – including Commissary, Staff Cafe and Food Program – place separate food orders.

“We noted that the BDCS is currently paying on average of $400,000 per annum for bread,” it read.

“The service was at one time executed by prison staff and inmates.”

The auditor general advised that management of the facility consider negotiating better pricing on food to be more cost-effective and carry out a cost analysis to determine the benefit of buying versus making bread by the staff and inmates.

The report also noted that three kitchens on the compound – Staff Cafe, Female Housing Unit, and Inmate Kitchen – are in much need of repairs, upgraded appliances, and utensils.

It furthered that the kitchens “are not inspected by the relevant authority on a consistent basis (annually)”.

“If the kitchens are not maintained and inspected on a consistent basis, this can cause the entity to be in violation of reasonable health and safety requirements and put inmates and staff  health at risk.”

About Sloan Smith Sloan has spent the past four years as a lead news writer immersed in the field, covering a range of investigative breaking news developments. She produces daily salient pieces on natural disasters, crime, politics, policy, human-interest, and socioeconomic realities.