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Government begs ‘mea culpa’ as Senate passes Government Contracts (Validation) Bill, 2020

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Posted: Tuesday, March 10, 2020. 3:20 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The Senate of Belize passed, first by voice vote and then by division, the Government Contracts (Validation) Bill which proposed to correct the error failing to lay recent infrastructure contracts before the National Assembly in violation of the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act.

Even as it begged, in the words of the Catholic confession prayer the Confiteor, “mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa (my fault, my fault, my most grievous fault)” for outrightly failing to lay recent infrastructure contracts for the Sarteneja, Coastal and Caracol Roads before the National Assembly, the Government exhibited some semblance of pride in its choice to admit such faults.

Debating in the Senate this morning, Government leader Godwin Hulse, who mentioned his role in passing the Act, warned against “misleading” the people as to what illegalities occurred, while officially denying any. Each loan linked to the various contracts passed both House and Senate, he pointed out, and the late laying of the contracts does not affect the projects they are tied to.

Attorney General Senator Michael Peyrefitte accused the Opposition of seeking political gain by denying the Government the opportunity to get the work done, and that even though we all make mistakes, few take responsibility as the Government did here, and go on to take steps to correct those mistakes.

And Churches Senator Ashley Rocke, who has regularly become the Senate’s fulcrum, drew on Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” to say that those seeking their pound of flesh should not spill blood in the process. He agreed that it was a bad look, but not bad enough that the Government could not be forgiven – and in Christian terms, go forth and not sin any more.

 

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