Scotland works for Witt

Mark Scotland does not work for MC Restoration, neither does he work for Government, but is employed by James Lee Witt Associates.

This was disclosed by Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush in the Legislative Assembly yesterday as he delivered a comprehensive statement covering all aspects of the debris removal contract awarded to MC Restoration.

The matter of Mr. Scotland’s employment became an issue after Opposition MLA Alden McLaughlin submitted a question for the meeting of the House, querying the basis for Mr. Scotland’s employment as Operations Manager of the Cayman Islands Recovery Operation.

Mr. Scotland is known to be a member of the Governing United Democratic Party. He recently resigned his position as head of the Public Works Department to campaign with two UDP MLAs for one of the three parliamentary seats in Bodden Town.

Since Hurricane Ivan Mr. Scotland was named Operations Manager for CIRO, an organisation that recovery advisors to Government James Lee Witt advised should spearhead the restoration of Grand Cayman.

‘We wanted, to have a manager for those areas to assist in coordination and to ensure effective cross flow, up and down and across the organisation [CIRO],’ Mr. Bush said. ‘That individual would also be a part of the Witt team, which makes a lot of sense, as the consultants’ job is to influence the work of the organisation in fulfilment of their contract.

‘So Witt cast around for someone, and Mr. Mark Scotland, with his expertise as a former PWD engineer was recommended to them.’

Mr. Bush went on to describe the process that ended with the award of the debris removal contract to MC Restoration.

He explained that there were five bids from clean-up companies ranging in cost from $19.04 million to $8.76 million. The lowest bid was rejected because it came from a company, DRC, which Cabinet had previously turned down because of conflicts of interest. The next lowest bid was that of MC Restoration at $10.7 million and that was accepted. He explained that the contract award was made through the Central Tenders committee as required by law.

‘We did not then, and up to now, have not received any tangible expression of interest from any local company… no local company approached us with any proposal to undertake this work.’

Mr. Bush said that at a subsequent meeting with heavy equipment operators, he assured them of work for locals. He again stressed that at this meeting no interest in wanting to bid for the contract was declared.

He said that after receiving the contract, MC Restoration applied to the trade and Business Licence Board for a local company’s licence on the advice of its local lawyers. ‘Those of you familiar with this particular licence will be aware that this is not required where there is a local 60/40 partner.

‘So obviously, had there been any local beneficial shareholders or partners, MC Restoration would not have needed to apply for a local company’s licence to operate here.’

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