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Newsline: Bahamas’ Embassy in Brussels spent over $600,000 on furniture

An audit into the Bahamas’ Embassy in Brussels, Belgium found that over $600,000 of taxpayer’s money was spent on furniture purchases for the official residence. The report was one of several audits that looked into the financial operations of Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ embassies, consulate general offices and a permanent mission. “During our audit, we noted furniture purchased for the official residence in the amount of 472, 427.80 EUR or $614,156.14,” Auditor General Terrance Bastian said in an audit conducted between November 1, 2019, and July 7, 2022. (http://www.tribune242.com/news/2022/oct/20/600000-furniture-embassy/?news) Labour and Immigration Minister Keith Bell first raised alarm about the extravagant purchases in Parliament in June, accusing the Minnis administration of the “indiscriminate callous haemorrhage” of the public purse. At the time, he said more than $1m was spent on lavish items for an ambassador’s apartment in Europe, including middle chairs that cost nearly $40,000, a rug at $18,475, $14,000 for a lamp and $10,000 for a mahogany scroll among other costly purchases. In view of the findings, auditors recommended that the ministry establish policies for the purchasing of furnishings for all residents and embassies, consulate, etc, and noted that ambassadors should not solely be responsible for these functions but through consultations with the ministry.

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