The Minister of Public Works has disclosed that the Government spent over $2.5 million on the recent Bermuda Championship held at the Port Royal Golf Course, that was “spent without a budget being allocated”.
Lieutenant Colonel David Burch was responding to Parliamentary Questions fielded by One Bermuda Alliance MP Michael Dunkley, who said his latest round of questions dates all the way back to March, in the lead up to the event.
Although the Minister answered questions about costs to prepare to the event, he said: “It is now concerning to hear that over $2.5 million dollars was spent on work associated with preparing the course – $2.5 million dollars was spent without a budget being allocated – $2.5 million dollars which had to be taken from another budget head to carry out the preparation work.”
He also asked for an itemized list of “all expenses and contractors”.
“It should be noted that when the tournament was announced months ago I asked questions in Parliament during a March sitting about the budget to prepare the PRGC for the event. In spite of asking on a couple of occasions prior to the event, and the government committing to answer, no answers were provided and they were unable to provide the budget for the work.
“It is well known that I am a keen supporter of golf but to spend $2.5 million dollars in a very tight budget year, where taxpayers are struggling to meet commitments and no budget was allocated for the work it is very concerning and worrying.”
He noted that $2.5 million dollars “is a significant amount of money and it is irresponsible to have no budget set for an event of this stature”.
“It begs the question whether there was any control on how the money was spent. When you couple this with the fact that in answering questions the Minister stated there were finances charges or late fees it compounds the concerns even more.”