As of January 1, 2013 to date, there were 523 applications for Bermuda Status pending, with another 317 approved under clause 20B(2)(b) provision of the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956.

Home Affairs Minister Patricia Gordon-Pamplin released the latest figures in response to Parliamentary Questions from Shadow Minister of Public Safety, Walter Roban.

Mr Roban asked the Minister to provide the House of Assembly (HOA) with information “as to whom specifically and how much has the government paid for private firms to process Bermuda Status applications” since January 1, 2013 to date?

Ms Gordon-Pamplin said: “The Government has not paid any private firms to process Bermudian status applications.”

Mr Roban also asked Ms Gordon-Pamplin to reveal how much the Ministry of Home Affairs and Department of Immigration “paid out to private firms relating to all Immigration matters” both legal and nonlegal since January 1, 2013 to present?

The Minister told MPs on Friday that $142,958 has been paid out by her Ministry and the Department of Immigration for those services, to the tune of $117,747.

Of the three law firms paid, Wakefield Quinn was paid the most. According to the itemized breakdown, Wakefield Quinn was paid $25,086 “in settlement of their client’s success Appeal to Immigration Appeals Tribunal in 2015”.

Another $57,487 was paid to Wakefield Quinn this year as the law firm representing “successful clients in settlement of their court cases”.

Charles Russell Solicitors were paid $16,130 in 2016, and paid another $42,090 this year. Mussenden Subair received $2,040 in 2014. Another $125 was paid in 2014 to process server Evernell Davis.

No consultant fees were paid – the total on that line was listed as zero. And the Minister said all other expenses were “nonlegal expenses”, including “operational expenses or capital expenditure”.

Ms Gordon-Pamplin said: “These expenses would have been explained in the annual budget debates.”

By Ceola Wilson