The following statement was released on Friday (Dec 2) by Michael Dunkley, Shadow Minister of Health…

During the sitting of Parliament today (Dec 2), I eagerly anticipated finally having the questions on the order paper regarding the Travel Authorization fee answered by Health Minister, Kim Wilson.

However, I was surprised and concerned that the first question requesting the Minister provide the full contract with ResQuest as it relates to COVID services was not answered.

This question was first submitted in September for reply and for months, the Government has been unresponsive. Today that did not change!

Why has it taken so long to answer? Is there something to hide? The people deserve to know and as their representatives in Parliament we have a right to access the information.

The other two questions focused on the money raised through the travel authorization fee and the amounts paid to ResQuest.

Parliament was informed that ResQuest received $4,362,655.00 between November 1st, 2021 and October 31st, 2022. It is likely when you add in funding received before November 1st, 2021, that the company has received over $5 million for a no bid contract that is not available for Parliament to review.

In October of 2022 alone ResQuest was paid $2,008,078.

Minister Wilson was also asked if the early ending of the TA was subject to a penalty clause. The answer was that she did not have the information at the time. Can you imagine; ending a contract and do not have the information or you are not aware of a penalty clause!

Can you also imagine if the shoe was on the other foot and the OBA had done this? No doubt the PLP, and the now defunct People’s Campaign, would be shouting from the rafters and marching would be taking place!

The answer to the final question regarding the TA showed that in the last seven months ( April through October) the Government has raised $24,140,360.00 through the TA fee (tax).

This is shocking information!

Sadly under this PLP Government led by Premier David Burt the people are being trampled on and even the People’s House ( Parliament) has a hard time receiving information.

Bermuda faces many challenges after COVID, and many are not due to the pandemic.  The Government needs to listen to the people. Be open and transparent.