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Sep 14, 2016

Faber says Prime Minister Barrow acted as head of Executive following receipt of Auditor General’s reports

Patrick Faber

Does the Prime Minister have the power to name the senators who will form the Senate Select Commission?  That’s what we asked Minister Faber today, following concerns that the PM is not legally authorized to do so.  According to Faber, as leader of the executive branch and Cabinet, the prime minister was first to receive the Auditor General’s report, therefore the suggestion made by the PM followed in that order.

 

Isani Cayetano

“What would you attribute the call for the composition of the Senate Select Committee to be made by the prime minister when there is a concern out there that that should be for the Senate to decide amongst themselves who those individuals would be that would comprise this particular body?”

 

Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister

“Well, you will remember that the report is mandated to go first to the prime minister and once it is sent in the prime minister will then be required to table it in the House.  That is where the report was tabled you know.  It wasn’t tabled in the Senate, it was tabled in the House and so for that to trigger the kind of investigation that the senate inquiry is, would demand then that the prime minister, as leader of the majority side in the House, and as leader of the government’s executive arm to then decide, that is where his power to decide comes, not from him being necessarily in the House of Representatives and not being in the Senate.  He is the leader of the executive branch and the leader of the Cabinet.  This is a report that was sent to him in that capacity and then tabled in the House of Representatives.  It was never sent to the senate.”

Isani Cayetano

But the fact that, again, informally he dismissed for instance senator Mark Lizarraga As being the potential chair of the body, likewise he said that if the churches at the particular point in time have not have agreed for Pastor Ashley Rocke to be the senator to sit as chair then will only leave Elena Smith as the senator of the unions to head that body. And she has come out and said as far as her union is concerned they are not prepared to have her chair that body. The argument is now that the Prime Minister should not necessarily be the one to be cherry picking for instance.”

 

Patrick Faber

“That’s a valid argument and I don’t purport to speak for the PM, you can ask him that question but if I understand it as well you will know that the three members from the government does have a more heavy position in terms of determining who will chair. Even if you leave it up to a purely democratic process in there, because as we have seen there are times when the three social partners don’t agree and there are times when the opposition will love to have the social partners agree with them and there are times when they do and there are times when they don’t. So it’s the single most powerful block n that entity will be the governments side and I guess that is the authority in which the government speak but we can’t be absolutely sure, you would have to check with him.”

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