Public Works Minister Lieutenant Colonel David Burch disclosed today that the Tourism Minister’s company won the contract to deliver sand to fill golf course bunkers with a bid that was 300 percent lower than its rival.

Colonel Burch told MPs today that  Island Construction Services, led by Zane DeSilva, submitted a tender price of $546,000 for the Port Royal Golf Course project.

The only other company to submit a tender was Bermuda Stone Company, which bid $1.815 million, he added.

The Ministry of Public Works estimate was $558,397.50.

Earlier this week, Opposition Leader Craig Cannonier called for the contract to be put back out to tender because it was awarded to a company owned by a Cabinet member.

But Colonel Burch said: “Island Construction’s bid was 300 percent lower than the next lowest bidder, and 7 per cent lower than the Ministry of Public Works’s estimate.

“Ministry of Public Works technical officers determined that the tender submitted by Island Construction Services for the proposed work was the best value, they displayed their understanding of the Ministry’s requirements and budgeted accordingly, while maintaining a competitive price.”

Craig Cannonier, OBA Leader

He also took issue with Mr Cannonier, claiming he had shown :an incredible lack of understanding of procurement processes” by insisting that Mr DeSilva should have recused himself from bidding on the contract.

“A blind man could see the hypocrisy in such a statement. That was never uttered under either a UBP or OBA government that he led with sitting ministers whose companies successfully bid on government contracts or were simply arbitrarily awarded them,” said Col Burch.

Updating MPs on preparations for the PGA Bermuda Championship at Port Royal from October 31 to November 3, he said: “Excitement is growing for the tournament and staff at Port Royal are working flat out to make this tournament a success.

“Needless to say, the recent hurricane has caused some damage to foliage on the course, but I can report that much of the bunker work has not been impacted and progress on the remaining bunkers is proceeding apace with the nine back holes being completed so far.”

He also noted that staff from the Department of Parks, the Skills Development Programme and the Hustle Truck were also helping remove fallen trees and other clean up work necessary after Humberto.