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Jun 28, 2016

Geovanni Brackett Calls for More Consultation Before Deal is Struck

Geovanni Brackett

Brackett today sent out a call to the S.S.B. to halt any transaction with G.O.B. where the shares are concerned, at least until there is much more consultation and much more light shone on the pros and cons of the deal.

 

Geovanni Brackett, President, COLA

“This administration has had hundreds of millions of dollars to play with, to improve the economy, to improve exports and to stabilize the economy. They actually got a chance to deal with the Superbond, to restructure it. So we believe that we shouldn’t be in a state where we have a look of economic crisis. We need to ask several questions to the government – to come clean to the government and to state where we are economically. Why would you sell shares out of B.T.L. to Social Security when we have a pending judgment? We don’t know what the full risk is that you are asking the S.S.B. to take on. Why weren’t there public consultations between the various stakeholders and I would dare to say even those who voted who are considered the social partners. We at COLA weren’t consulted, so we feel that we didn’t have any say in this. We believe the pensioners of all people who I think they are the most invested in this – they also need to look at this investment. Will it make sense down the road? Will it jeopardize the Social Security Fund down the road? So for us it’s not just a simple fifty-five million dollars. That’s a huge figure when you’ve already spent over three hundred million dollars. We are calling for an immediate halt on the sale of these shares to any entity notwithstanding the decision taken by the Board. Before the consideration of this sale there should be public consultations as I mentioned before with the public in each district, where the government outlines a specific purchase for which these funds are to be used and whether they are going to be kept separately if you are going to throw them in the Consolidated Fund or you’re going to have them in a separate account.”

 

In a release issued today, COLA also queries the relationship of persons involved in the deal, stating that “raising even more alarms is that according to the S.S.B.’s own website, Anwar Barrow, chairman of B.T.L.’s executive committee, is a Government representative on the Board; Net Vasquez, B.T.L.’s chairman, is also chairman of the Investment Committee. Is this not a direct conflict of interest? We must ask: did these men recuse themselves from the decisions to invest in these shares?” Brackett says that COLA will be taking their cause to the street sooner, rather than later.

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