Categorized | Featured, National News

Pintard Criticizes Gov’t for Roof Collapse

Hon. Michael Pintard, Leader of The Official Opposition

— Opposition Leader, Again Calls for Minster’s Resignation

By Licec Bastian
Journal Staff Writer

Official Opposition Leader Michael Pintard slammed Prime Minister Philip Davis and
Works and Utilities Minister Alfred Sears over the debacle of an unfinished roof
collapsing on a building on the campus of the R.M. Bailey Senior High School earlier
this month and characterized comments made by both an “astounding collection of
Mr. Pintard, on Tuesday, said, “The Opposition is dismayed by the astounding
collection of mistruths and deflections the prime minister and his minister of works
have sought to drop on the Bahamian people once again in the aftermath of the roof
collapse at the R. M. Bailey Construction site.”
The Free National Movement (FNM) is demanding accountability.
Both Prime Minister Davis and Minister Sears, came to the defense of the contractor
responsible for constructing a lunch pavilion on the school’s campus.
Last Friday, Ministry of Works officials released a statement in reference to the
incident titled “R.M. Bailey High School Lunch Pavilion – Roof Collapse” however,
both the prime minister and the minister with responsibility on Sunday, during a tour
of schools undergoing repairs, said a roof did not collapse but instead its trusses.
In the ministry’s statement information, not intended for public consumption, was also
included, and officials requested that the media not release the same, including an
admission that the contractor had no written contract nor risk or liability insurance.
Prime Minister Davis confirmed the details in the statement and said the contractor
had a verbal agreement that was to be reduced to writing. He also noted that the
contractor, Anthony Roker of A&M Construction decided to self-insure until all of the
i’s were dotted and t’s crossed.
Mr. Pintard, though, called on the prime minister to provide evidence that the Tenders
Committee did its review and approval.
“First, the prime minister and Minister Sears with a straight face told the Bahamian
people that the roof collapse, that everyone saw, was not in fact a collapsed roof. The

PLP is now at the point where they will say anything to cover their obvious ineptitude.
Fortunately, the Bahamian people know very well what they saw.
“Then, the prime minister suggested that the contractor had an oral contract for a
project that would be valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars at minimum. This
is rubbish, plain and simple,” Mr. Pintard said.
“The Procurement Acts of 2021 and 2023 require that a project of this size be
approved by the agency’s Tenders Committee or the Public Procurement Board,
depending on the contract value.”
He added, “The Committee and Board would not give consideration to an ‘oral’
contract proposal, nor would they approve a waiver of the requirement for proper
insurance coverage. By law, no procurement contract can be awarded unless the
process prescribed by law is followed – anything else is an illegal contract.”
As for the contractor’s decision to “self-insure,” Mr. Pintard asserted that the
contractor has “no option to ‘take on the risk.’”
“The issue of so-called ‘self-insurance’ held by the contractor is almost certainly a
grand fiction concocted on the spot by the prime minister,” he said.
“He knows well from the BAMSI debacle that the standing government policy is that
all public projects of this type require express insurance coverage.”
Back in 2015, a fire at Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Sciences Institute (BAMSI)
on Andros, destroyed a dormitory. At the time, Prime Minister Davis served as the
deputy prime minister and minister of works under the Christie administration.
“Unless the prime minister can provide evidence that the contractor has established a
separate legal entity appropriately funded to provide insurance for the contractor’s
business interests, then no self-insurance exists,” Mr. Pintard said.
The FNM Leader also questioned, “how many other illegal contracts are currently in
place with nothing more than a handshake and a wink?” We demand that the prime
minister provide evidence that the Tenders Committee did its review and approval.
We further demand that the government provide a full accounting of all projects for
which there are only “oral contracts” in place and for which there is no appropriate
insurance coverage.”
While he did not provide any evidence, Mr. Pintard said it was brought to his attention
that a “senior member of the engineering team did not support the construction of the

truss with the size of the lumber used, neither did the technical team support the
construction of the pavilion in that particular area of the campus for reasons that
included the safety and security of the student population.
“If this is the case, who overrode the prudent advice of the public officers at the
Ministry?” the FNM Leader said.
“We cannot have a renegade government that believes that it is above the law and can
do as it pleases. If there are more examples of this wanton recklessness and illegality,
then the responsible ministers must resign.
“Enough is enough.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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