NASSAU, BAHAMAS – On the heels of Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis revealing earlier this week that the commissioner of police is expected to investigate the findings of a recent audit report into the National Sports Authority (NSA), the opposition Progressive Liberal Party expressed on Tuesday that such an investigation would not be free from political interference.
“The PLP has taken note that the prime minister of The Bahamas says that he has referred the matter of the Auditor General’s report on the National Sports Authority to the police.
“We want to make it abundantly clear that the PLP has no confidence that the Royal Bahamas Police Force, under the direction of Marvin Dames as Minister of National Security, can conduct an impartial, non-partisan and independent investigation,” outlined a statement issued yesterday by PLP chairman Senator Fred Mitchell.
“Any investigation in these circumstances will be tainted by political bias and therefore will not be worth the paper it’s written on.”
A recent audit report tabled in the House of Assembly last week revealed that a consultancy firm was paid $1.19 million for work that was reportedly never done.
Since its tabling, the Free National Movement has lambasted the former administration, claiming that there was “a culture of corruption that sapped the country of economic activity and opportunity.”
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis told the media on the sidelines of an Inter-American Development Bank signing ceremony earlier this week on Monday that he had communicated with the commissioner of police, the attorney general and the auditor general about the contentious audit report.
“I informed the commissioner of police that I am sending a report to him, so that they can do a proper investigation and deal with the matter appropriately,” the prime minister said.
But also on Monday, the PLP said it had evidence of past audits where claims had been made about one thing or the next with regard to expenditure under the governance of the PLP, only to find that the premise on which the accusations were made was entirely false.
“We have no doubt that this is the same scenario at work here, again,” the PLP said.
A six-year audit of the NSA was completed by Auditor General Terrance Bastian.
The report covered the period July 19, 2011 to December 31, 2017.
The report revealed that expenditures to support stadium readiness upgrades lacked transparency, the government may not have gotten value for money from special funding