Opposition to probe Sammy’s Inn purchase

Leader of the Opposition McKeeva Bush has submitted a series of parliamentary questions dealing with the Government’s purchase of Sammy’s Inn for use as an office facility for Cayman Airways.

Mr. Bush has been outspoken in his criticism of the purchase in the past, particularly because he thinks the building – which was heavily damaged during Hurricane Ivan in 2004 – will cost too much to renovate.

Among the parliamentary questions submitted to the Legislative Assembly this week was one that asked how much was paid for the renovation to date, the balance to be paid upon completion and the timeframe for occupancy for the CAL staff.

‘Will the member say what was the amount paid for Sammy’s Inn?’ and ‘Who did the valuation?’ were questions also asked.

Mr. Bush also wants to know about the parking provisions for the staff and public at Sammy’s Inn site.

Minister of Tourism Charles Clifford said he could not respond to the questions at the present time.

‘I must decline doing so at this point since these are parliamentary questions which are before the House and it would be inappropriate for me to respond to them in the first instance anywhere other than in the Legislative Assembly,’ he said.

Mr. Bush also submitted several other questions to other members of the Cabinet.

One question to Attorney General Sam Bulgin asks ‘how many law suits exist against the Government and state the reasons?’

Another parliamentary question to Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson asks: ‘Will the member state how much money the Government has paid, or is paying, to consultants, local and overseas, since June 2005 – who are the consultants – and for what ministers or departments or other government entities are they working or worked for?’

Mr. Bush also has submitted a question dealing with immigration for Chief Secretary George McCarthy.

‘Can the member say how many work permits are being granted every month and list by category – annual, temporary or renewals?’

The next meeting of the Legislative Assembly, which coincides with the commencement of the 2007-08 session of Parliament on 27 April, is already scheduled to be a busy one. Items on the agenda include the Throne Speech by Governor Stuart Jack; the Budget Address by Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson; and the Strategic Policy Statement by Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts.

The Appropriations Bill will also be tabled, which will reveal the government budget allocations for the 2007-08 financial year.

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