Bush denies overpaying subs in Matrix pay back

| 16/06/2010

(CNS): Government did scrutinize all of the invoices that were paid to local sub-contractors who claimed they were left out of pocket as a result of the Matrix affair, the premier told the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday morning. Following an article in the Caymanian Compass last week in which one of the owners of Matrix International said government had overpaid the subs and had not consulted with the bosses of Matrix, about the payments, McKeeva Bush said government had been diligent over the payments and the local Matrix partners had been consulted on the invoices. (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

In April, Bush gave cheques ranging from $150 to $106,790 to 19 different sub-contractors totalling more than $280,000 for outstanding payments the contractors claimed they were owed by Matrix.
However, Bruce Young, managing director of Matrix which defaulted on a contract with government told the Caymanian Compass that he believed the contractors were not owed so much money, adding that he and his brother Vincent, who was general manager, had not been consulted on the payments.
“What they should have done was ask one of us to go over the bills to make sure it was agreed before they started paying them. These bills were generated by us. I am not going to dispute some of them… but there were people coming out of the woodwork saying we owed them money and who made up false invoices,” he told the newspaper.
However, the premier denied this and said the Ministry of Finance had made checks, scrutinized the invoices and met with local representatives Billy Bodden and Andrew McLaughlin, to obtain an understanding of the debts. He also said there were “numerous telephone calls” with McLaughlin over queries on the invoices. “During these meetings, the Matrix representatives handed over invoices that Matrix confirmed were in the possession of the company and which were still owed by Matrix,” Bush told the Legislative Assembly.
He stated that the payments made to the sub-contractors were confirmed as owing by reference to Matrix’s records. “Where there were discrepancies between invoice balances provided by Matrix and invoice balances provided by subcontractors, both parties were consulted further, balances were agreed and the invoice balances were adjusted accordingly.”
Bush admitted that government had paid David Lyons who has since been jailed in the United States. The premier said that he was still a sub-contractorwith an outstanding invoice. “Regardless of the fact that Mr Lyons is currently in prison, as evidenced by the US$4,000 payment to Mr Lyons by Matrix on 11 October 2007, Mr Lyons did provide trucking services to Matrix and Matrix acknowledged the services that Mr Lyons provided by writing him a cheque for US$4,000…..Mr Lyons is entitled to be paid for the balance of the cost of the trucking services that he provided before he was incarcerated.”
Bush also pointed out that Harold Bodden who had since died had also provided trucking services to Matrix and even though he has passed on, his estate is still entitled to be paid for those services that he provided.
The premier noted that there were a number of invoices that were not paid as the Ministry discovered that they were previously paid by Matrix, they were not directly related to the removal of scrap metal from the landfill or the outstanding amounts could not be verified. He said an invoice totalling CI$10,678.99 from a local law firm for legal fees on work permits was not paid as they were not directly related to the removal of scrap metal. Another invoice from a quantity surveyor was not paid as it was discovered to have already been settled and an invoice from a sub-contractor for welding work was not paid as the invoice did not contain contact information.
“There were invoices that the Ministry of Finance subsequently received from sub-contractors and which the sub-contractors are stating that amounts are still outstanding by Matrix,” he said. “Although the Matrix representatives cannot confirm that these invoices are legitimate as the invoices were not in Matrix’s possession, the Government is requesting copies of delivery slips and affidavits to verify that these sub-contractors did indeed provide services for Matrix.”
The premier assured the House and the country that government had scrutinized requests before payments were made. “The government has acted on good conscience and performed due diligence appropriately,” Bush stated adding that he hoped he had cleared up any misconceptions that were made in the article.
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Comments (5)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    if this happened in any other country it would be a resigning matter for the premier…. only in cayman

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is one of those situations that leaves one scratching the head to try to find sense in the muddle. It baffles the mind to even try to understand why the government (a financially struggling government mind you!) would feel obliged to pay the debt of a private company that was contracted to do a job. This is rediculous and whoever chose to interfere and pay out much needed public funds in this way should be held accountable andmade to repay every cent; this is especially so as the management of the company itself has questioned the accuracy of some of these payments! I wonder what is really the true story behind this lunacy.

  3. Bobby Gibson says:

    Matrix guy were a bunch of rip off and lied when they say that they did not know David Lyon, I work with them from the beging to the end I am still owe the last month pay plus they owe rent on the crusher and they broke the Ram on the crusher which cost over fourty thousand to replace.  These guys came here knowing nothing about scrap metal, what they did here is what they learn here.  How could the last Goverment give a contract to these guys knowing that they had now money, I told the Minister that they had no money and they were out there trying to sell the the contract that they had won.  They ended up getting Billy Bodden involve and he put up the money, and according to him he lost money with them. I know for a fact they went around to a lot of caymanians trying to get some one to fund the project.  These guys were trying to sell a dream, they had no Idea of what it would take to make it work. How can a bunch of two truck drivers know and thing about scrap metal.  I am disapointed in the media printing this bunch of garbage and untrue story.

     

    Douglas Gibson aka Bobby Cayman Recycling

     

  4. Pipple Pottle says:

    They would have been happy if they had received 30% of losses – please please please tell us the government at least took an assignment of the debts as part of this scheme?  Or are they completely stupid?

  5. Your taxes well spent says:

    So as I understand it the local directors of Matrix approved the invoices for payment by the Government. These are the guys that are responsible for the company going belly-up.

    Have I missed something? It is not disimilar from the directors of First Cayman Bank saying who gets paid.

    ‘ere we go again as the eyewig said when it went over the cliff.