Editorial: A really bad choice

POSTED: 07/22/11 12:33 PM

Last year’s decision of the Island Council to rent a building on Front Street to be the home of the Parliament Building was roundly criticized at the time mostly because of the fact that it would cost tax payers $96, 100 per month to rent the three floor facility. It seems now that decision, made along political lines, has come back to haunt the country.

To date there is no building permit that allows utility company GEBE to ramp up the volts to the building, partially because the full procedure was not followed, including the submission of a plan. This alone is scandal and one wonders how many other short cuts were taken on the road to this very bad choice.

A look further shows that the Fire Department has given a partial negative advice because parts of the building do not meet the Fire Code. One glaring example is that the front entrance – which is the main entry and exit – is tiny. The building also has very few windows that could be opened to vent smoke in the event of a fire. This makes the building a dangerous place to be in.

The owner has argued that parliament is getting a real deal for what they pay, but add in the fact that there is no parking for MPs or anyone else at this building and we see that what it really adds up to is a hugely bad choice that the country is unfortunately stuck in for seven years.

In this light we agree completely with the Audit Chamber that there should be a committee of parliament that reviews how tax payer money is spent. We go further though and suggest it not be filled with politicians. Instead we suggest a sort of Tender’s/Procurement Board that will review what the politicians want to do. With this bad choice and other recent errors in mind we think some help is in order.

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