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Opposition excoriates Government Contracts (Validation) Bill

Posted: Thursday, March 5, 2020. 7:27 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: In terms of occasionally skirting the Standing Orders, members of the Opposition have roundly condemned a bill brought before the House of Representatives.

The Government proposes to validate the omission by the Minister of Finance to lay government contracts before the National Assembly for examination contrary to Chapter 15 of the Finance and Reform Audit Act.

The Prime Minister, in introducing the bill, readily admitted to Leader of the Opposition John Briceño that he acted in response to his writing the international agencies in respect of the Coastal Road project led by Imer Hernandez.

Drawing comparisons to the Petrocaribe Loans Act and the recently condemned spending of over $1.5 billion through supplementary appropriations, Cayo South member Julius Espat repeated that there were “criminal ramifications” in the Finance and Audit Reform Act for such violations and opined that the architect of the bill must be a serial criminal, drawing objections because the final judgment has not been delivered in writing by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin.

Espat pointed out that the Government’s disdain for the law extended to society, and that the Prime Minister had set the worst kind of example.

Caribbean Shores and Freetown representatives Kareem Musa and Francis Fonseca followed up by pointing out the purposefulness of the Prime Minister’s actions: that they hide alleged bloating in favor of Hernandez in particular and that they are a slap in the face of the work of the trade unions and social partners in 2010.

 

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