DNA - BPL Debacle: Proper and Independent Investigation Needed
By Arinthia S. Komolafe, DNA Deputy Leader
Aug 25, 2018 - 3:07:19 PM
BPL Debacle: Proper and Independent Investigation Needed
- Issues must not be swept under the rug
- Government response is weak and petty
- Trivial comments are distractions from major concerns
- Investigation must be independent, thorough and expedited
We have followed with interest the ongoing saga involving the nation’s power supply company, Bahamas Power and Light (BPL). It is an understatement to opine that the Government’s response has been underwhelming, inadequate and petty. This is unfortunate and unacceptable for an administration that professes a commitment to good governance, transparency and accountability.
The fact is that the Bahamian people have received more coherent, logical and detailed information on occurrences at BPL from its former Board members than the duly elected Government of The Bahamas. Rather, responses from the political directorate have been weak, petty and focused on matters of less importance to the main issues impacting BPL.
The recent announcement by the Prime Minister that there will be an investigation into the BPL debacle is welcomed. However, we submit that any investigation into this matter must be independent, thorough and expedited. In this regard, as the allegations relate to a substantive minister within the Cabinet, the independence of the reviewing party or body from the political directorate is a must. The government cannot be seen to be investigating itself without tainting the process with suspicions of bias and a lack of objectivity.
We are hopeful that the announcement of the launch of an investigation is not an attempt to silence the professionals whose integrity have been brought into question or a tactic to sweep this serious matter under the proverbial rug. The investigation must commence immediately and a timeline for the conclusion of the investigation established. Subsequently, the findings of the investigation must be released to the Bahamian public along with recommendations for remedial actions.
The Bahamian people have been left to conclude that the trivial comments by the Government are merely distractions from the real and major issues facing BPL. These issues include transparency of the bidding process for an LNG plant as articulated by the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation (BCCEC), regulatory matters and breaches outlined by the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) and questionable hiring practices as enunciated by BPL union leaders.
More recently, the serious allegations of inappropriate political interference, deficient procurement processes, lack of due regard for good corporate governance practices, undermining of Board leadership and chauvinism remain unanswered to date. The Government cannot continue to ignore these serious concerns and issues that plague the troubled power supply company.
The dark cloud of cronyism, nepotism, corruption and contradictions that hangs over the Government’s head will persist until there is full disclosure to the Bahamian people and justice is seen to be done.
Arinthia S. Komolafe, Deputy Leader
Democratic National Alliance
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