Bahamas, June 12th 2017: From being audited, to an increase in funds, both BAMSI, The Bahamas Agriculture and Marine Science Institute, and Urban Renewal will receive additional funds for their operations despite claims of corruption at the two agencies. Fresh from their massive win at the polls, the FNM vowed to commence audits into both companies, but now comes a change of tune, with increased budget allocations having been made to both entities in the new fiscal year.
Allegations of incomplete works done under Urban Renewal’s Small Home Repairs, SHR programme, came to the Auditor General’s attention, while the Public Accounts Committee described it as public wastage. As for BAMSI, fire at one of the dorms sparked public attention, when it was revealed the contractor responsible for it, did not have insurance despite stating otherwise.
However, DPM and Finance Minister Peter Turnquest is saying any decision to be made to close both companies, must be sound and be done based on facts and not emotions. He says there are people involved in both organisations and describes it as a human business and it would be unfair to the people involved. Minister Turnquest citing, jobs and contractors owed monies, says it was not as simple as “turning off the spigot”
Government outlined in its budget that $5M will be allocated toward Urban Renewal in the new fiscal year 2017/2018, while the former administration had put aside $1.79M in its 2015/2016 budget. Some $8M has been put aside for BAMSI under this fiscal year, a $600,000 increase from the previous budget.