Categorized | National News

Gov’t Accused Of Secret Deal With GBPA

The government has sought a stay of an order handed down by Supreme Court Justice Indra Charles last week affording stakeholders more time for consultation over matters related to extending certain provisions of the Hawksbill Creek Agreement (HCA).

This move has led attorney Fred Smith, QC and the initial applicant of the motion approved by Justice Charles last week for a judicial review to raise concern that the government has made some secret deal with the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA).

The GBPA along with Mr. Smith and fellow attorney Carey Leonard were the applicants who challenged the government in court regarding what they viewed as a lack of consultation with the relevant stakeholders in matters relating to certain provisions of the HCA based on a report completed by McKinsey and Co.

The judicial review proceedings relate to a consultation exercise initiated by the government regarding proposals to extend certain provisions of the HCA.

The consultations were carried out by the Hawksbill Creek Agreement Review Committee. The consultation was founded upon a report commissioned by the government from McKinsey and Co.

The McKinsey Report included factual information which informed the committee’s deliberations on the recommendations it made to the government and specific proposals which it considered before making recommendations to the government.

Mr. Smith has since written to Loren Klein who represents the Attorney General’s Office demanding answers about why the government has sought this stay and insight on its relationship with the GBPA.

“This appears to be an utter disregard by ur clients and the GBPA of the process before the court while the matter was subjudice and in particular of Justice Charles’ judgment,” Mr. Smith said in the letter.


“In particular since your clients sought a stay of the judgment of justice Charles , so feverishly, even before you or your clients even saw the contents of her judgment, in which she directed that there should be a further period of one month of consultation so that Carey Leonard and I could make a contribution to the process of consultation.


“As licensees we were entitled to be heard and our views take it into account after we were properly informed by the production of the McKinsey report for the executive branch of government made any decisions.


“It appears that neither the executive branch of government nor the Grand Bahama Port Authority, have any respect for due process or administration of justice. Or indeed for the recent judgment of the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas


“Just what is going on? May I please have details of these ongoing negotiations have apparently resulted in some form of “agreement”?


“What Agreement has been arrived at?”


He continued in the letter reminding Mr. Klein that four of the five licensees must sign off on any proposed agreement and he advised that the GBPA and the government cannot arrive at agreements that affect Freeport without four of the five of the licensees consenting.


Meanwhile, Prime Minister Perry Christie is expected to provide an update on the extension of the HCA in the House of Assembly on Wednesday.




Written by Jones Bahamas

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