OBA waiting for Government response on Auditor General’s Covid-19 TA report

We thank the Auditor General for the report to Parliament and the people of Bermuda on the Government of Bermuda’s Response to COVID- 19: Travel Authorization.

The OBA has sought this type of oversight and applauds the AG swift action.
The report flagged many of the concerns we have spoken to since the inception of the form in 2020.
The history of the TA is checkered and littered with issues all along the way. From the inception with learning of a no bid contract to the end when it was ceased due to a litany of concerns from travelers and the fact that in a bad economy it put Bermuda in a disadvantage over other destinations who had long moved on from this covid form of border control.
The AG report raises many valid concerns and the OBA supports the need for the Government to answer them in detail.
Among them.
– Who made the assessment that the Government’s own Information and Digital Technology Department did not have the required expertise to develop the application in house?
– Why did Government not seek the appropriate waivers and emergency procedure for the acquisition of goods and services in relation to the contracts with resPartner Limited?
What steps have been taken by the Government to protect traveler’s personal and health information collected through the Travel Authorizarion Portal?
– The report ( page 9) refers to another vendor for a border- crossing passenger processing system that was discovered in the Ministry of Economy and Labour and the contract signed off by Premier Burt effective August 2020. What was that system’s purpose and how much did it cost?
– The use of a non- Government bank account for receipt and processing of Government’s revenue is a direct violation of the Bermuda Constitution Order 1968. Who signed off on this violation of the Constitution and what action has been taken to deal with the person or persons and to make sure it does not occur again?
– The report mentions the resPartner relevant contracts and fees attached. Millions of dollars were raised through this tax and millions of dollars were also paid out to the vendor. Has an audit been done to ensure all government revenue has been received and if correct amounts were received by the vendor?
The Government lauded itself for their handling of covid, and even called an election in the middle of the pandemic!
Now the self praise has worn thin on the people of Bermuda and these and other pressing questions must be answered.

Failure to do so means that resignations should occur; anything less and the people would have been let down by the Burt Government.

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