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March 17, 2021

Joint union negotiating team: “Financial Secretary failed Belize”

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Posted: Wednesday, March 17, 2021. 5:47 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: The joint union team negotiating cost-saving measures with the Government of Belize says that Financial Secretary (FinSec) Joseph Waight has failed to adequately carry out his duties and should be removed.

At a press conference today the joint union team, which includes Nаtіоnаl Тrаdе Unіоn Соngrеѕѕ оf Веlіzе (NТUСВ), Рublіс Ѕеrvісе Unіоn (РЅU), Веlіzе Nаtіоnаl Теасhеrѕ Unіоn (ВNТU) аnd Аѕѕосіаtіоn оf Рublіс Ѕеrvісе Ѕеnіоr Маnаgеrѕ (АРЅЅМ) said that the FinSec was in violation of the Statutory Instrument (SI) 95 of 2010- Fiscal Transparency and Responsibility Regulations, 2010, which required him to routinely report the economic position of the country.

The unions said that Waight, who has survived the change of successive government administrations, and his support staff were complicit in the mismanagement and violation of laws that lead and continues to contribute to the financial crisis that the country is currently in.

“Problems cannot be solved with the same mindset that created them,” said Dean Flowers, vice president of the PSU, “In that case, we believe that the same prescription has been used over and over to solve the current problem of mismanagement and no accountability. And so we say that changes must come. And for that reason the joint unions received a very strong mandate, that we ought to call for the removal of the financial secretary and his accompanying staff, especially those, that are over the age of 55.”

The union maintains that if Waight has been producing the routine reports in accordance with SI 95, the country would have had a snapshot of the government’s fiscal strategy and fiscal position twice a year via a mid-year report and a final project outcome report. Those reports should detail the government revenues, expenses, assets, and liabilities as well as the assets and liabilities of every statutory body, particularly those that generate revenue.

“It is our view that the financial Secretary is in violation of the SI, of the law…and he needs to be held accountable,” Flowers added.

 

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