RE: Issuance of press release by BCB Director’s company a Blatant Conflict of Interest
Sunday, November 28, 2010
On Friday, November 26, 2010 Media Enterprises/Traffic issued a press statement on behalf of the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas (“BCB”). The Progressive Liberal Party takes issue with and has very serious concerns about the company which issued that press statement. Media Enterprises/Traffic is a company which is owned by Mr. Larry Smith, the same Larry Smith who serves on the Board of Directors of the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas.
This development begs several questions which the Corporation must answer:
1. Does the Board of Directors of the BCB believe that it is appropriate for a press statement to be issued by a company that is owned by one of its Directors?
2. Was Media Enterprises contracted by the BCB to perform such services? If so, what is the value of such a contract?
3. If there is such a contract between the BCB and Media Enterprises, was the contract awarded pursuant to a competitive bidding process?
We believe that whether there is a formal contract or not between the BCB and Media Enterprises, for Mr. Smith’s company to issue a statement on the BCB’s behalf while he is a sitting member of the Board of Directors is a blatant conflict of interest. We call on the BCB’s Board of Directors to apologize to the Bahamian people for this blatant conflict of interest that resulted from allowing Mr. Larry Smith’s company, while Mr. Smith serves as a Director of the BCB to issue the press statement on the BCB’s behalf. We also call on the BCB to desist from engaging in such conflicts in the future.
This matter is very similar to the relationship between the Airport Authority and a company that was partially owned by Mr. Brent Symonette and family members, which company was contracted to perform work at Nassau International Airport while Mr. Symonette served as the Chairman of the Airport Authority which granted the contract. When The Progressive Liberal Party exposed this blatant conflict of interest, Prime Minister Ingraham required Mr. Symonette to resign from the board of the Airport Authority. We therefore call on the Prime Minister to request Mr. Larry Smith’s resignation from the BCB for this blatant conflict of interest in this matter.