Opposition Leader Cole Simons has called for a financial audit on the sole-sourced contract handed out to a company owned by the Premier’s fintech adviser, to the tune of $3.6M for COVID-19 services.
In a statement released last night (Feb 8), the One Bermuda Alliance leader said Premier David Burt “consistently finds himself in conflicts of interest, without remorse or accountability”.
On that note, he said: “The narrative continues.
“From being the Premier and Minister of Tourism AND being in charge of gaming, to now, literally handing a $3.6M dollar contract to his personal fintech adviser – Denis Pitcher without going through the proper tender process.
“Let’s not forget that his Health Minister, Kim Wilson who when cornered, admitted that her ministry failed to take the required steps to get approval to engage ResQuest for the Travel Authorization process and COVID-19 test booking system?
“The One Bermuda Alliance and the people of Bermuda find this behaviour breathtakingly unconscionable,” he added.
“We are tired of the lack of accountability and the lack of transparency and as evidenced by David Burt and his Party. As a consequence, we call for a full financial audit. Enough is enough.”
Mr Pitcher was appointed as the fintech adviser to Premier Burt in January 2019, when contracts to for software to manage the pandemic were awarded to resQwest, the company he co-owns, without a tender process.
His role changed to that of an unpaid fintech adviser in April last year.
The Premier has stated that the Auditor General had “audited and will continue to audit” the Government’s response to the global pandemic.
“This Government will continue to support that effort as there is nothing to hide when it comes to funds spent to keep Bermuda safe.
“Also, the Opposition leader doesn’t need a press release to get information surrounding this or any other government contracts,” said Mr Burt.
“Mr Simons serves as chairman of the Public Accounts Committee so he can conduct his own inquiry if he sees fit, which would be much more effective than attention-seeking press releases that call for what he knows is already taking place.”