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Contractor General: should he continue in Public Service?

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Posted: Friday, October 4, 2019. 2:38 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Contractor General Act prohibits its holder at present from holding further office in the Public Service after his term expires.

It is a reason the Prime Minister cites as to why his Government is not able to replace Godwin Arzu who resigned in 2017 after eight years in the post. One candidate backed out specifically due to this provision, which spurred Government to eliminate it rather, than as proposed by the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, going to CARICOM for a candidate.

The Contractor General is responsible for, among other things, approving and reviewing contracts by the Government and overseeing sales of assets. It is not strictly a Public Service post.

But rather than risk a corrupt CG and a corrupt Government collaborating with the promise of a future Public Service job, says Freetown area rep Francis Fonseca, Government should try to improve the package available to candidates. It would not do, he said, to risk the independence and impartiality of the role.

But the Prime Minister countered that the Contractor General typically serves for no more than three years, and wondered whether it might not be unconstitutional to deny a future holder the right to work in the Public Service after serving in the role.

The bill has been approved on second reading.

 

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