FRIDAY, JANUARY 22: Government has not backed down on plans to take over the Corporations of Hamilton and St. George's.

Heath minister Walter Roban announced at a press conference on Friday that Government has brought in consultants to overseas the proposed reform.

The consultants were named as the law firms of Attride-Stirling & Wolonoiecki Barristers & Attorneys and the international firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge.

Their responsibilities will include identifying and drafting the relevant legislation that may need to be reformed.

He said they would: "Produce a plan with specific recommendations describing the process, sequence and timelines for the absorption of municipal functions within specific Ministries, Departments and administrative entities of the Government of Bermuda and, finally; To oversee and manage the actual implementation of said plan until the transition is complete."

Minister Roban said: "They bring a great deal of experience in reform efforts both in the private and public sector, which we think will be of value in this project.

"In meetings with stakeholders during the last several months I have advised that the Government will rely on the report from our consultants on how best to approach this reform effort in terms of the franchise, governance, efficiency, accountability and ensuring the tenets of democracy are available to all in the Municipalities and Bermuda."

This decision was made after Government announced to reform Bermuda's municipal governments in the 2008 Throne Speech. The reform is expected to take place later this year.