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A.G. on reforms: “Prime Minister [John] Briceño is committed”

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Posted: Friday, April 23, 2021. 1:09 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The trade unions have insisted that their primary fight is to hold Government to account by implementing key and needed reforms across the Public Service.

But that agenda has already begun, according to Attorney General Magali Marin-Young, whose Ministry is working with Henry Charles Usher’s Ministry of the Public Service, Political and Constitutional Reform.

She cites the change to the Standing Orders to allow for a joint Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly, the new Public Contracts Commission and judicially, setting time limits for delivery of judgments.

But she acknowledges that there are “complex” issues, as with the Civil Asset Recovery Bill, which establishes a unit that will need finance, and there is a need to get it right and consult with stakeholders, including the trade unions. Campaign finance reform is also on the agenda and the Ministry is contemplating various models to find the best fit for Belize.

The A.G. points out that there is a need for, to start with, legal draftspersons, of which there are currently two in her department, and she has approached the United States, India and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for technical assistance on this. It is part of the pain of understaffing, exacerbated by the previous administration’s use of private attorneys to fight cases in court.

But the administration, she concluded, has not lost sight of what brought it to office five months ago: “I can assure you that Prime Minister [John] Briceno remains committed to good governance.”

 

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