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Governor: Nothing sinister at MDC?

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First Press Conference for the New Year at Governor’s Office

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Governor Adrian Davis

At his February 4 2015 press conference his first for 2015, the last being December 17, Governor Adrian indulged in the press comments and questions, dealing with a recent Davy Hill armored operation by the Royal Montserrat Police Force (RMPS) and fall-out from the Montserrat Development Corporation (MDC) DFID-GoM shutdown of activities/projects.

On the police raid which according to a ‘fire outing’ press release Deputy Commissioner was in response to and “based on observations and intelligence collated,” the Governor admits he had not received a full report from the RMPS on the Davy Hill operation but said he did not think there was anything for which they should apologise.

The Governor went further than Thompson and told the media on Wednesday, “the police said it was an intelligence led operation. They had, had reports of drug activity and potentially illegal gun ownership in Davy Hill.

He said he had received a debriefing on the matter; had seen and heard comments from Minister of Agriculture, Land Trade and the Environment, Claude Hogan. He also commented (missing) the position taken by the media regarding the measures by the police at the time. “I think it would be unreasonable even for the media to ask for advance knowledge even in confidence of an operation that was going to happen,” but like he did with regards to some other issues raised, “The point you make about the children being there is a good one which I would follow up on.”

The Governor also offered, “The obvious question for any operation like this is was anybody caught, the answer is no,” adding, “but it’s also slightly beside the point because the whole issue of such exercise is that increases the risk for potential criminals of going about their activities because they will be aware that the police are monitoring their activities.”

The Governor took notes on the comments from the media who expressed disappointment and disrespect to the media itself by the RMPS for the way the operation was conducted. The Montserrat Reporter’s office is located right in the vicinity of the raid and only learnt of the activity when an obviously frightened young teenaged girl came to report what was happening outside the office. There were complaints that having arrived on the scene very little or almost no information was relayed to the press, which really was the result why an unsuccessful raid was even reported, resulting in some mixed unsavory comments.

The press is expected to report further when it hopefully meets with the police in due course.

Nothing sinister at MDC

Responding to questions from the press on the reported concerns on procurement at the MDC which was the subject of extensive comment in a DFID Audit report and previous court actions and believed to have contributed to the shutdown at MDC, the Governor said when pressed, “if there is criticism about procurement, it’s because of inadequate training and inadequate understanding of the rules rather than anything more sinister.” adding, “That’s my particular assessment but in any case if that is the case we need to try and address it.”

Governor Davis was reminded about the court cases and about the procurement irregularities raised prior to now as far back as early 2013, suggesting there had been wrongdoings. He countered saying, “…such a litigious society would ever go ahead on the basis of anecdote rather than evidence and we have had procurement studies which have discovered what seems to be rather idiosyncratic processes and procedures, …where maybe people haven’t followed the rules but there is no specific evidence of wrong doing or benefit to people as a result of it.”

Seeking to clarify and strengthening his argument his position on the issue, he concluded, clearly not willing to accept that when there is alleged bid rigging, bribery and kickbacks, that these are criminal behaviours. “But wrong doing is a pejorative term which implies that people are doing it for personal gain. I think you’ll find that most of the court cases are about lack of adherence to processes which have been partly because of ..well for all sorts of reasons but it doesn’t seem to be for personal gain.”

CEO on Administrative Leave
Meanwhile DFID local representative Martin Dawson confirmed that the substantive CEO Ivan Browne “is on six weeks administrative leave and will be available to the task force as required.”

 

 

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DSC_2884 copy

First Press Conference for the New Year at Governor’s Office

DSC_2886 copy

Governor Adrian Davis

At his February 4 2015 press conference his first for 2015, the last being December 17, Governor Adrian indulged in the press comments and questions, dealing with a recent Davy Hill armored operation by the Royal Montserrat Police Force (RMPS) and fall-out from the Montserrat Development Corporation (MDC) DFID-GoM shutdown of activities/projects.

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On the police raid which according to a ‘fire outing’ press release Deputy Commissioner was in response to and “based on observations and intelligence collated,” the Governor admits he had not received a full report from the RMPS on the Davy Hill operation but said he did not think there was anything for which they should apologise.

The Governor went further than Thompson and told the media on Wednesday, “the police said it was an intelligence led operation. They had, had reports of drug activity and potentially illegal gun ownership in Davy Hill.

He said he had received a debriefing on the matter; had seen and heard comments from Minister of Agriculture, Land Trade and the Environment, Claude Hogan. He also commented (missing) the position taken by the media regarding the measures by the police at the time. “I think it would be unreasonable even for the media to ask for advance knowledge even in confidence of an operation that was going to happen,” but like he did with regards to some other issues raised, “The point you make about the children being there is a good one which I would follow up on.”

The Governor also offered, “The obvious question for any operation like this is was anybody caught, the answer is no,” adding, “but it’s also slightly beside the point because the whole issue of such exercise is that increases the risk for potential criminals of going about their activities because they will be aware that the police are monitoring their activities.”

The Governor took notes on the comments from the media who expressed disappointment and disrespect to the media itself by the RMPS for the way the operation was conducted. The Montserrat Reporter’s office is located right in the vicinity of the raid and only learnt of the activity when an obviously frightened young teenaged girl came to report what was happening outside the office. There were complaints that having arrived on the scene very little or almost no information was relayed to the press, which really was the result why an unsuccessful raid was even reported, resulting in some mixed unsavory comments.

The press is expected to report further when it hopefully meets with the police in due course.

Nothing sinister at MDC

Responding to questions from the press on the reported concerns on procurement at the MDC which was the subject of extensive comment in a DFID Audit report and previous court actions and believed to have contributed to the shutdown at MDC, the Governor said when pressed, “if there is criticism about procurement, it’s because of inadequate training and inadequate understanding of the rules rather than anything more sinister.” adding, “That’s my particular assessment but in any case if that is the case we need to try and address it.”

Governor Davis was reminded about the court cases and about the procurement irregularities raised prior to now as far back as early 2013, suggesting there had been wrongdoings. He countered saying, “…such a litigious society would ever go ahead on the basis of anecdote rather than evidence and we have had procurement studies which have discovered what seems to be rather idiosyncratic processes and procedures, …where maybe people haven’t followed the rules but there is no specific evidence of wrong doing or benefit to people as a result of it.”

Seeking to clarify and strengthening his argument his position on the issue, he concluded, clearly not willing to accept that when there is alleged bid rigging, bribery and kickbacks, that these are criminal behaviours. “But wrong doing is a pejorative term which implies that people are doing it for personal gain. I think you’ll find that most of the court cases are about lack of adherence to processes which have been partly because of ..well for all sorts of reasons but it doesn’t seem to be for personal gain.”

CEO on Administrative Leave
Meanwhile DFID local representative Martin Dawson confirmed that the substantive CEO Ivan Browne “is on six weeks administrative leave and will be available to the task force as required.”