Govt audit accuses Lanisha Rolle of “questionable” contracts
An audit ordered by then Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has revealed Lanisha Rolle’s “extravagant spending” and the issuance of “questionable” contracts before she resigned as Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture in February.
The report, received by the government in 2021, detailed questionable renovations at South Beach Swimming Pools to the tune of $450,038.
“Contracts ranged between $7,000 - $49,560, thereby avoiding the Tenders Board process,” according to the report.
“A few contracts appear questionable, in particular procurement of landscaping from Creative Designs at a cost of $49,560.
“A few companies received multiple contracts on this project, and also received contracts at NSA for other projects, including Edward Pratt of Restoration Maintenance ($30,085) and Ms. Julia Johnson - $57,300,” the report revealed.
Pratt also received a $9,500 contract to clear down the property next to the South Beach Swimming Pools Complex despite an independent submission of a quote for $600.
Edward Pratt was then awarded a five-year NSA contract for landscaping of the Tennis Centre at $40,000 a year, which auditors described as “unfortunate” because the NSA has a staff of landscapers.
According to the damning report, Rolle’s ministry paid $95,750 to a video production company to produce virtual presentations for National Youth Month despite directives from the Ministry of Finance to scale back.
Rolle also insisted on repeatedly giving business to decorating company J’Amazing Creations between 2019 and 2020 in the amount of $101,887. Ministry officials found it strange that the company always ended up submitting the lowest quote and that the two owners’ names “reappear in another matter of employment” with the National Sports Authority.
The two brothers were hired at the NSA in 2021 despite a directive to cease hiring in August 2019 in the wake of the country‘s financial crisis.
In 2019, Island Pearls claimed Minister Rolle requested the immediate redecoration of the Christmas tree in Rawson Square at a cost of $35, 746 amid public outcry over its tacky design. However, after the tree was redecorated, Rolle denied making this request and refused to pay the company until Minnis intervened.
According to the report, senior public servants who worked under Rolle sounded the alarm on “disturbing” misconduct, citing a blatant disregard for financial procedures, the unilateral issuance of contracts and the repeated awarding of contracts to designated individuals.