On corruption

Interesting and typically reality based analysis of political corruption by Kevin Comeau in today's Gazette.

Unfortunately the Gazette really buries guest Op-Eds to well down the page of the comment section of their website.

That would not be such a big deal if political corruption were a rare occurrence in Bermuda. But it appears that "Defamationgate" may be only the tip of the iceberg.

Numerous Government capital projects over the last ten years (e.g., Berkeley Institute, Port Royal Golf Course, Heritage Wharf, the new Courthouse, TCD) have collectively resulted in cost overruns of hundreds of millions of dollars. Generally, only two things can cause large cost overruns: Managerial incompetence and financial corruption.

When you consider that the cost overruns on some of these projects exceeded 100 percent of the initial cost estimates and that Government had at its disposal civil servants with collectively more than 100 years of architectural, engineering and construction expertise, it is hard to conclude that only incompetence was at play. Someone had to be doing something unscrupulous. Individually and collectively, these and other large Government contracts simply don't pass the smell test.

Not only were tendering rules violated and the recommendations of civil servants ignored in the granting of some of these and other large Government contracts, but inordinately large change orders were frequently made.

When you add to this the multiple damning reports of two Auditors-General, we are left with strong circumstantial evidence suggesting something untoward.

I find it interesting that PLP partisans' position is that an absence of prosecution demonstrates a lack of corruption. However those same people would argue that the administrations that proceeded them were horrendously corrupt, yet I can recall no prosecutions from those eras either which by their own definition means they were corruption free.

What we're seeing is situational ethics in full effect.

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