WHAT REPORT?: Former Minnis administration had BPL board probe since November 2020

WHAT REPORT?: Former Minnis administration had BPL board probe since November 2020
Bahamas Power and Light's headquarters.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government is reviewing an external report conducted by a foreign organization into the controversial termination of members of the Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) board in 2018 — under the Minnis administration.

During the first Office of the Prime Minister press briefing under the Davis administration, Press Secretary Clint Watson revealed that the report, commissioned by former Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, was presented to the government in November 2020 but was never released to the public.

Watson noted that the report which is “a very interesting read” has been sent to the Minister of Public Works for review.

The report investigates the circumstances that led to the dismissal of former BPL Executive Chairman Darnell Osborne, former BPL board members Nicola Thompson and Nick Dean in August 2018, and the appointment of a new board.

At the time of the move, Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister said that relationships among the board members had significantly deteriorated, with members “locking horns” on almost every critical issue, which was a great cost to the company and propelled the need for new leadership.

However, the terminated trio hit back at Bannister, insisting that “political interference” and a “continuous disrespect” toward the executive chairman were at the root of the former board’s dysfunction.

While Bannister later admitted to politically interfering with the board’s operations, he claimed that it was done altering learning the company paid for makeup and

The initial board was made up of Osborne, Dean, Thompson, Patrick Rollins, Ferron Bethel, and BPL CEO Whitney Heastie.

Osborne, Thompson, and Dean are suing the government over the fallout for damages for wrongful dismissal, alleged misfeasance, and slander. The trio was being represented by now Minister of Works Alfred Sears.

In the aftermath of the matter, Minnis promised that a “proper investigation” would be launched into the matter. He advised in April 2019 that a contract had been signed with a company to commence the investigation.

However, when asked for an update on that probe in July 2021, following the Queen’s New Year and Birthday Honors, Minnis told reporters that there was no update to provide.

“I don’t have any additional information at this particular time,” he said.

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.