‘WE’LL GET TO THE BOTTOM OF IT’: Forbes-Smith’s $16K generator sale to GBPA subject to DRA probe

‘WE’LL GET TO THE BOTTOM OF IT’: Forbes-Smith’s $16K generator sale to GBPA subject to DRA probe

Forbes-Smith expected to release statement today

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Disaster Reconstruction Authority (DRA) Chairman Alex Storr said documents circulating on social media yesterday relating to former DRA Managing Director Kay Forbes-Smith and the purported sale of a generator to the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) will be reviewed.

This comes as the DRA continues to probe contracts awarded for the cleanup of Abaco and Grand Bahama following Hurricane Dorian.

Apparent screenshots of an email string from GBPA officials in November 2019, requesting an invoice be created for Forbes-Smith in the amount of $16,000 for a 15-kilowatt generator, accompanied by an invoice, bank slip in the same amount directed to Bank of The Bahamas, as well as several photos of the generator made the rounds.

As a responsible organization and seeing an accusation such as this, we are going to look into it.

– DRA Chairman Alex Storr

Forbes-Smith stepped down as Senate president in December 2019 to head the DRA.

The circulated documents did not appear to link the generator to the DRA or suggest the generator was not the personal property of the then Senate president.

“I’ve seen reports circulating on social media today,” Storr told Eyewitness News.

DRA Chairman Alex Storr.

“That information didn’t come from the DRA.

“But, as a responsible organization and seeing an accusation such as this, we are going to look into it to see if there is indeed some connection to any assets of the DRA.”

It was pointed out that Forbes-Smith became the DRA managing director a month after the purported sale of the generator.

But according to Storr, documents showed connections well before that.

He said the DRA is reviewing the timeline to determine when Forbes-Smith assumed her role and began working in the capacity as head of the authority.

He said her contract was dated May 8, 2020.

“One of the things I have been doing is going through minutes and I am starting to wonder when she was really connected with the DRA because the contract that she signed on May 8th, 2020, but I can see connections with her and the DRA much earlier,” the chairman said.

“So, I am trying to get to the bottom of all of that right now.”

When contacted, Forbes-Smith advised that a statement will be released on the matter today.

The concerns relating to the contract awards came on the heels of Forbes-Smith filing a lawsuit against the government for contractual damages to the tune of over $408,000 for an alleged breach of her DRA contract.

Former DRA Managing Director Kay Forbes-Smith (center).

According to her writ filed in the Supreme Court, she was employed on a four-year contract with effect from December 3, 2019.

The writ alleged that the DRA, in breach of the contract, terminated Forbes-Smith effective immediately on September 29, 2021, via a letter from the Office of the Prime Minister — nearly two weeks after the general election that saw the Minnis administration voted out.

As it relates to the DRA’s review of storm contracts, Storr has suggested that some contracts were overvalued and the DRA did not get value for the money paid.

He said in other instances, companies were not correctly complying with the reporting requirements outlined in the contracts, despite the government being billed hundreds of thousands of dollars.

About Royston Jones Jr.

Royston Jones Jr. is a senior digital reporter and occasional TV news anchor at Eyewitness News. Since joining Eyewitness News as a digital reporter in 2018, he has done both digital and broadcast reporting, notably providing the electoral analysis for Eyewitness News’ inaugural election night coverage, “Decision Now 2021”.