After weeks of denying he ever saw BPL hedge fund details, Minister of Works Alfred Sears is finally coming clean on the matter.
Today, Sears admitted he saw the Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) hedge fund proposal. However, he insists he passed the details on to Financial Secretary Simon Wilson, who declined to ‘support’ the proposal.
“I was in New York, and I took a day, and I brought my own iPad. And I went back personally and did a search. And I found that I did receive -I think it was on October 9- I did receive an email with the attachments. It would have gone on to – was sent on to the financial secretary, which is normal because they are the technical review in terms of financial clearance. Because it was really to access a loan [that] is managed by the Ministry of Finance.
“The Financial Secretary responded, stating that he didn’t support it. I passed that on to BPL, and BPL tried as best they could to persuade him,” said Sears.
While on his feet in the House of Assembly, Sears initially claimed that he never saw the BPL hedge fund details.
Recently, after Opposition Leader Michael Pintard brought proof in the form of a Cabinet paper to the House of Assembly, Sears backtracked.
He then claimed he saw correspondence but passed it on to the Ministry of Finance. Sears laid the decision not to execute the BPL hedge trade at the feet of Prime Minister Davis, who is also minister of finance.
According to Sears, PM Davis “communicated” that the recommendation did not receive ‘support.’
Davis continues to assert he knew nothing of the BPL hedge recommendations, insisting Financial Secretary Simon Wilson oversaw the decision that has arguably cost Bahamian taxpayers over $100M.
Pintard and others have called upon Sears to resign for misleading the House. Sears’ competence in leading the Ministry of Works is also in question.
Prime Minister Davis has not given Bahamians a fulsome explanation of how his Financial Secretary was able to make such a consequential decision without referring to the proposal to him as substantive minister.
Davis is currently out of the country on a trip to Angola.
The Office of the Prime Minister has not indicated whether Davis will relieve either Sears, Simon, or both of their positions.
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