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MDC fall exposes many

Governor says he wasn’t duped, what about the DFID rep

Gov Adrian Davis Nat Trust Archive project launch (12)

Governor Adrian Davis

When Governor Adrian Davis said this at his February 4, 2015 press conference: “…MDC did not come up in cabinet in the last year and a half really at all, apart from in terms of very detailed questions of ownership of land at little bay, there was some discussions about procurement procedures…” He must certainly have been aware that a Business of Cabinet 2013 Report somewhat confirmed what he said, only in relation to lands.

The Cabinet Secretary’s report said: “The 2013 report made reference only, “to the build out of the Little Bay Town, based on the approved Master Plan. Updates were received on the state of play of the Carrs’ Bay Port Development.” Noteworthy it said, was the progress in resolving the occupation of the land at the entrance of Little Bay, considered over a period of time.

In the first half of 2014, the CabSec reported Cabinet endorsed the Little Bay Land Tenure Policy & Divestment Strategy for the Little Bay & Carr’s Bay Master Plan.

Reuben T Meade - IMG_1373

Former premier Hon. Reuben T Meade

The Governor’s response was in part to a question regarding the latter part above, but in general was responding to the question as to whether he now feels duped by the former Administration in matters pertaining to MDC.

The rest his response to that was: “…but otherwise it (MDC) didn’t really come up, so I don’t feel duped particularly but I feel that we’ve got new information which is now being acted upon.”

The press was reiterating its concern of the lack of communication with it and the Montserrat public in general by the MDC, and its apparent failure from the seeming failure and reports of wrong doing. There was no hesitation to remind the Governor that we had been raising questions time and time again to him and the former DFID rep about that matter and in particular questions about procurement and processes (also in other matters).

2014-02-12-10.22

Dr. Kato Kimbugwe

The Governor took cover by repeating his own stance on communicating with the people. “If it’s really the case that the MDC have not been proactive with pushing out information, then I agree from my own personal stance as you know that, that’s not satisfactory because there’s not much point in doing things if you don’t tell people what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, any that includes everybody not just the press, so I entirely agree that if they have not been doing it, they ought to do it.”

He must be familiar with the several times that DFID in various reports has mentioned the lack of and need for the MDC to communicate with the people, if for nothing else as they put it in the most recent annual review of July, 2014, coming out the same time with the Fraud Investigation report.

Then he said finally surprising everyone, “MDC did not come up in cabinet in the last year and a half really at all, apart from in terms of very detailed questions of ownership of land at little bay, there was some discussions about procurement procedures but otherwise it didn’t really come up…”

Is the Governor by that statement really saying that he was kept out of the many decisions which should have been made at Cabinet, where they were supposed to ratify and approve actions by the MDC board? Would the appointment of CEO Browne meet the scrutiny of lawful procedures, as would be the case with many other decisions?

The Governor along with the DFID resident representative, Dr. Kato Kimbugwe, did seek to answer questions regarding anything about the MDC and activities, telling us that many of the questions we asked should be dealt with by MDC chairman and CEO in press conferences. That should include the Premier as well. The surprise of course, the Governor, though not in charge of Government’s business, as chairman of Cabinet, was, or should have been very much a part of resolutions and decisions relating to MDC. Kimbugwe on the other hand was involved as he sat on procurement boards, the MDC board, committees, etc.

The fraud investigation review focused on Government of Montserrat Procurement. Following a series of concerns raised with DFID regarding the adequacy and effectiveness of procurement systems and controls within the Government of Montserrat (GoM). Specifically, in connection with: A review of procurement systems by the Financial Secretary’s office within the GoM; and among others, A criminal investigation undertaken by the Royal Montserrat Police Service, supported by DFID’s IAD Counter Fraud Section (April 2014).

MDC may conduct their own procurement but only with the consent of the main board and they must follow the same rules. “Follow the same rules”, the problem.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Governor says he wasn’t duped, what about the DFID rep

Gov Adrian Davis Nat Trust Archive project launch (12)

Governor Adrian Davis

When Governor Adrian Davis said this at his February 4, 2015 press conference: “…MDC did not come up in cabinet in the last year and a half really at all, apart from in terms of very detailed questions of ownership of land at little bay, there was some discussions about procurement procedures…” He must certainly have been aware that a Business of Cabinet 2013 Report somewhat confirmed what he said, only in relation to lands.

The Cabinet Secretary’s report said: “The 2013 report made reference only, “to the build out of the Little Bay Town, based on the approved Master Plan. Updates were received on the state of play of the Carrs’ Bay Port Development.” Noteworthy it said, was the progress in resolving the occupation of the land at the entrance of Little Bay, considered over a period of time.

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In the first half of 2014, the CabSec reported Cabinet endorsed the Little Bay Land Tenure Policy & Divestment Strategy for the Little Bay & Carr’s Bay Master Plan.

Reuben T Meade - IMG_1373

Former premier Hon. Reuben T Meade

The Governor’s response was in part to a question regarding the latter part above, but in general was responding to the question as to whether he now feels duped by the former Administration in matters pertaining to MDC.

The rest his response to that was: “…but otherwise it (MDC) didn’t really come up, so I don’t feel duped particularly but I feel that we’ve got new information which is now being acted upon.”

The press was reiterating its concern of the lack of communication with it and the Montserrat public in general by the MDC, and its apparent failure from the seeming failure and reports of wrong doing. There was no hesitation to remind the Governor that we had been raising questions time and time again to him and the former DFID rep about that matter and in particular questions about procurement and processes (also in other matters).

2014-02-12-10.22

Dr. Kato Kimbugwe

The Governor took cover by repeating his own stance on communicating with the people. “If it’s really the case that the MDC have not been proactive with pushing out information, then I agree from my own personal stance as you know that, that’s not satisfactory because there’s not much point in doing things if you don’t tell people what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, any that includes everybody not just the press, so I entirely agree that if they have not been doing it, they ought to do it.”

He must be familiar with the several times that DFID in various reports has mentioned the lack of and need for the MDC to communicate with the people, if for nothing else as they put it in the most recent annual review of July, 2014, coming out the same time with the Fraud Investigation report.

Then he said finally surprising everyone, “MDC did not come up in cabinet in the last year and a half really at all, apart from in terms of very detailed questions of ownership of land at little bay, there was some discussions about procurement procedures but otherwise it didn’t really come up…”

Is the Governor by that statement really saying that he was kept out of the many decisions which should have been made at Cabinet, where they were supposed to ratify and approve actions by the MDC board? Would the appointment of CEO Browne meet the scrutiny of lawful procedures, as would be the case with many other decisions?

The Governor along with the DFID resident representative, Dr. Kato Kimbugwe, did seek to answer questions regarding anything about the MDC and activities, telling us that many of the questions we asked should be dealt with by MDC chairman and CEO in press conferences. That should include the Premier as well. The surprise of course, the Governor, though not in charge of Government’s business, as chairman of Cabinet, was, or should have been very much a part of resolutions and decisions relating to MDC. Kimbugwe on the other hand was involved as he sat on procurement boards, the MDC board, committees, etc.

The fraud investigation review focused on Government of Montserrat Procurement. Following a series of concerns raised with DFID regarding the adequacy and effectiveness of procurement systems and controls within the Government of Montserrat (GoM). Specifically, in connection with: A review of procurement systems by the Financial Secretary’s office within the GoM; and among others, A criminal investigation undertaken by the Royal Montserrat Police Service, supported by DFID’s IAD Counter Fraud Section (April 2014).

MDC may conduct their own procurement but only with the consent of the main board and they must follow the same rules. “Follow the same rules”, the problem.