Minnis questions delay in tabling NIB report
ROYSTON JONES JR.
Guardian Staff Reporter
Published: May 03, 2013
Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis is convinced the government is making excuses to delay presenting the highly-anticipated National Insurance Board (NIB) audit report to Parliament.
In an interview at the FNM’s headquarters on Mackey Street yesterday, Minnis said he believes the government planned to use the report as ammunition against the former administration, but he believes the report reflects that they were on “the right track”.
The FNM leader has not seen the report.
“I think the report did not bring forth the follies that they wanted,” he said.
“They wanted to show that the FNM was incompetent, that the FNM was not doing their job, and the reports probably shows that the FNM was on the right track.
“Therefore they are delaying. They don’t want the public to see that they have spent all this money generating a report, and all the report would show is that the FNM was governing properly.”
Minister of Labour and National Insurance Shane Gibson previously told The Nassau Guardian that he had hoped to release the report on Wednesday.
Speaking in the House Wednesday, Gibson explained he had anticipated releasing it in Parliament that day.
But he said he had promised suspended NIB Director Algernon Cargill an opportunity to review the report and to respond to it.
Gibson said Cargill’s lawyers were sent a copy of the report, and he expects a response within the next two weeks.
After that happens, the report will be tabled in Parliament, Gibson said.
Minnis called Gibson’s explanation a “delay tactic”.
He said while he awaits the document, he believes the government will likely delay even after Cargill’s lawyers respond.
“Mr. Cargill was supposed to have done that before if the report is finished,” Minnis said.
“...All of this should have been done before. You don’t do a report and then afterwards tell someone, now here is the report, now you and your lawyer can now review the report and comment on the report.
“What is going to happen after Cargill finishes? If there are 10 other names in there, you are now going to give it to each one and say here, you give your report.
“That could be years. We would never see this report, and it is delay tactics.”
The report given to Cargill concerned the recommendation on his termination, Gibson noted.
The probe into NIB was trigged after Moss made serious accusations against Cargill in a 22-page letter last November.
The auditors of Grant Thornton (Bahamas) examined those allegations among other matters relating to NIB.
Cargill was placed on leave pending the outcome of the audit. He subsequently filed suit against NIB and Moss.
Cargill remains on administrative leave and receives his full pay with benefits, according to Gibson.
Moss was fired in early January after he issued a press release, suggesting that Prime Minister Perry Christie and Gibson had failed to properly defend him against certain allegations.
Gibson has called the contents of the reports “shocking”.