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Oct 8, 2015

Chairman Espat Says U.D.P. Is Afraid of the P.A.C.

Julius Espat

That stance doesn’t go down well with PAC Chairman Julius Espat. He told News Five today that the reason the Public Accounts Committee doesn’t work, and hasn’t for a long time is because the government is a majority on that committee, and it is over those ministers that the PAC is designed to provide oversight. A government majority means that ministers will be overseeing ministers.


Julius Espat, Chairman, Public Accounts Committee

“When we call meetings, they refuse to come. When you set agenda, they refuse to participate and so it will never work even if the People’s United Party gets into power and certain people take over the PAC, it will not work if it is not structured properly. I believe in structure to be able to get out of the problems that we face as a country. And that’s why the party leader, the honourable Francis Fonseca, and the rest of us have agreed that the only way it can work is if you invite the social partners to be a part of it. The little I saw of the interview…he said that the Opposition along with the social partners would oppose so he is considering the social partners as opposition and that is a ridiculous statement to be made by a prime minister of a country. Your social partners should be exactly what the word says, they should be your partners and partners does not necessarily means that you have to agree with everything that somebody says; it means that you participate and that you are a part of the dialogue and democracy gives you the right to oppose. So the prime minister is definitely wrong on this one and they are trying to hide what I consider, and I’ve heard it, it is sophisticated corruption. That’s what we are at this level right now. Some people call it legal corruption, but it is corruption. They’re even trying to change the English language when it comes to the definition of nepotism. They put forward what they say is the truth and we, the Belizean people, need to agree with that. That’s bogus; that’s wrong and that’s a lie. And that’s the problem we have in this country; that the prime minister refuses to be accountable for anything that he and his administration does. Millions of dollars have been taken out of government coffers into his families’ pockets. You know how many people could be fed with that? You know how many children could go to school? You know how many health centers we could have in this country presently right now? And are you telling me that there is no other attorney qualified in this country if his name is not a Barrow? And that is what the Belizean people need to analyze. How many attorneys do we have in this country? A good paid salary for an attorney in the government ministry, you could say even a hundred thousand dollars a year…a hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year. Why are we not investing that into professionals instead of having to give all these contracts to your brother? That is what they are hiding. And that’s what each minister is hiding and that’s why they are fearing the Public Accounts Committee and that’s why they also fear the Integrity Commission.”

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