Water and Sewerage Corporation Chairman Adrian Gibson said he felt “uneasy” about the way the audit into the corporation’s financial affairs was conducted and how it became a personal matter for Opposition Leader and Member of Parliament for Cat Island Phillip Davis.
Addressing parliamentarians in the house of assembly this morning – while not directly apologizing – Gibson said it was never his intention to hurt or harm a fellow colleague.
On Wednesday, Gibson tabled a damming report in the House conducted by Ernst and Young (EY), which revealed that a company, Nassau Island Development (NID), which awarded a $9.6 million contract by the Water and Sewerage Corporation, was partly owned by a woman with the same name as the secretary in Davis and Co, Merlene Poitier.
The contract was awarded in 2013, when Davis served as Minister of Works.
In response, Davis blasted EY for using his mother’s obituary in the report as a means to connect him to Poitier, rather than “just asking” him.
He said the report is a witch hunt and its only intent is to “smear and discredit without the input of others”.
“This is not necessary if the proper procedure was engaged in and – if as I said – all they had to do is say to me, ‘What is the relationship with this person’,” said an irate Davis.
“I am advised that the lawyers for the company, who is well known to all of those on that side, well known, and better known to the Minister of Works, will perhaps have something to say about it.”
According to the report, NID bid the lowest of four firms for a contract to build a wastewater treatment plant off Gladstone Road for Baha Mar.
The project was expected to be completed in 2014 but as of February 2018, the report says the contractor “abandoned” the project with no movement from September 2016.
The project also doubled in size to $18.3 million.
In February 2016, it was recommended to terminate NID and not make any additional payments, but payments continued.
The report has been forwarded to the Royal Bahamas Police Force.