One can only shake their head at today’s article regarding Sports Minister Richard’s defense of the expenses of his trip to Rio for the Olympics. It is a PR train wreck in slow motion. Why would the One Bermuda Alliance not come out with complete details upfront rather than letting the paper drag it out with new revelations over weeks?
The OBA deserves a great deal of credit for making travel expenses more transparent. Its a welcome improvement in governance to open travel expenses up to closer scrutiny by the public and ensure our money is well spent.
Unfortunately the Olympics happened and the OBA has created for themselves considerable controversy. In the days of prosperity, many happily looked the other way while the Progressive Labour Party threw excessive money at things. Throwing $15 million at football is just one small example of actions that left us with a such a debt that we’re now squabbling over $32,000 in travel expenses. It’s too bad we’re only realizing now that every dollar does count.
What doesn’t make sense is how the OBA is handling the PR fallout. It is getting to the point where Minister Richards may be best to resign his role and go back to the back bench. If there were more details to be revealed, why not rip off the bandaid? Having this issue dragged out over weeks with new revelations in the paper doesn’t seem to be a very good strategy. Bermudians may have a short political memory, but not so if you ensure they think about it for a much longer period of time.
When news of this broke the OBA should have been more transparent and published a full explanation of how and why $32,000 was spent. Even if the decisions were poor, it would have made far more sense than letting the paper discover it and turn it into a series of controversial articles. That likely would have been more preferable than leaving everyone now wondering what else has been bungled by poor decision making which hasn’t yet come to light?