Larry Dennis


Police 'spin'
$485 Million

Based on the information currently (June 2007) circulating, it appears that this man deserves a great deal of public respect and support.

According to the Royal Gazette, the Auditor General Mr Dennis, was arrested for alleged possession of stolen documents and not revealing his source, according to revent reports.  Read more here.

It appears that Mr Dennis was arrested for handling stolen goods, despite the Supreme Court having ruled that copies are NOT stolen document.  Quite rightly so to.  It is one thing to possess the original documents, quite another to posses a facsimile of them that could have been copied away from police premises (without use of a police photocopier and police paper i.e. property belonging to the police) and the original returned.  It should also be borne in mind that the Chief of Police, George Jackson has apparently made a sworn affidavit that the file is 'lost' - even the head of the constabulary has not come out and said it is 'stolen'.

Is it of note that, as recorded by the Royal Gazette:

  • Mr. Dennis — the Government’s fiscal watchdog — has continually called for more legislative protection for ‘whistleblowers’.

  • In his 2006 Annual Report, which stated $800 million of public funds were unaccounted for, Mr. Dennis said: “One recommendation (in Appendix Two) requires special mention this year. In my 2003, 2004 and 2005 annual reports I expressed concern at the number of frauds and misappropriations that were detected in recent years in Government entities.

Is the release of the BHC scandal file into the public domain being used as a means by some in Bermuda to undertake  'housekeeping', settle old scores or send a message to those who would attempt to ensure the island has a means of 'whistle blowing' (speaking out to the media or the public on malpractice, misconduct, corruption, or mismanagement witnessed in an organization) desist and tow the line?

On the one hand whistle-blowing legislation is a good thing.  On the other 'stealing' from the Government is a bad thing. So why not introduce one to deter the other?  Bermuda appears to be crying our for whistle-blowing legislation but just who would people blow the whistle on .... it is not hard to see one area that could surely benefit from such a facility ... Government entities. In fact, one questions who else would be affected.  So there appears to be a dilemma, or would it be better described as a conflict of interest?

The Royal Gazette also reported on concerns expressed by Senators that the arrest of the Auditor General has cast a cloud over Bermuda’s international reputation for business.  However, Senator David Burch, Minister of Public Safety, said Police were simply exercising “the rule of law” and apparently added:

“You can’t cherry pick justice,” he said.

Thankfully not from the Government's perspective ... to cherry pick is to take only the select few.  In the case of the BHC scandal it appears the 'select few' (the Premier as an example) were ignored and not arrested or interviewed.  It appears you can 'cherrypick' who not to interview .... is this not what happened in relation to the BHC scandal investigation? Apparently Mr Dennis is not one of the 'select few'.

Food for thought:

  • Bermuda has a population of about 65,000 therefore the loss per head of population when $800,000,000 goes missing is about $1200

  • how many people in Bermuda Government entities ... 800? This would equate to about 1 person in every 80 people on the island and sounds a little high.  However, if 800 is the number employed, the loss equates to $1,000,000 per employee.  We are not suggesting that all are 'on the take', the calculation demonstrates the size of the problem.

  • The BHC scandal enquiry, the investigation that concluded in 2004, appears to have had no effect on the willingness of those associated with 'Government entities' to commit fraud and misappropriate, it provided no deterrent; in 2006 $800,000,000 was missing. This is one hundred times more than was missing as a result of BHC!

  • what made BHC so special that it was uncovered and investigated?  Look at the figures .... BHC apparently represents an $8,000,000 scandal.  In relation to the 2006 'loss' BHC is just the tip of the iceberg, less than this - BHC represents 1% of the 2006 loss yet look at the furore it has caused.

  • If $800,000,000 went missing in 2006, where are the police investigations into these ... what crimes were reported, what investigations were undertaken, who were the suspects and where are the papers?

How does a Government of a small island 'lose $800,000,000.  What message does this send to those who thought of Bermuda as a safe financial haven?




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