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Jan 12, 2017

Net Vasquez: I do not advise the Government

Nestor Vasquez

Nestor Vasquez’s appointment to the Integrity Commission proved to be one of the most controversial for several reasons. He was nominated in his role as a chartered accountant; but his certificate of membership in the Institute of Chartered Accountants, a requirement for appointment, was expired as of 2009. An additional concern was that he was chosen over the recommended appointee of the Institute, Warren Coye. Finally, Vasquez has served on multiple corporate boards since 1984, and is concurrently chair of Belize Telemedia Limited’s board; a member of the Investment Committee of the Social Security Board; and a director on the Board of Alba Petrocaribe Energy Belize Limited. Now that he is appointed, we asked Vasquez to clarify these issues, and he responded that he now has a current certificate from the Institute and that in the case of state-owned B.T.L. and S.S.B. and presumably APBEL as well, these are institutions independent of the Government, and he does not hold any role as direct Government adviser.

 

Nestor Vasquez, Member, Integrity Commission

“They were not aware of the circumstances, of the facts of the case. I have a certificate from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Belize, dated January, 1985 – it has no termination date; I’ve been a member from then up to now. And I also have another, updated certificate, dated in December 2016. So they were not aware of the facts, that’s all I can say.”

 

Reporter

“They were also objecting that it would be a conflict of interest, since you sit on several boards? What do you have to say to that?”

 

Nestor Vasquez

“No, certainly not, certainly not, I see no reason why that should be the case; no conflict of interest.”

 

Reporter

“I think the primary issue there, since you brought it up, is that you are a trusted associate and adviser to the Government, and that might conflict with what is supposed to be an independent Commission, so to speak.”

 

Nestor Vasquez

“I have no appointment as an adviser to the Government, nor the Prime Minister. I serve as chair of B.T.L., and that company is run as a private sector company, by the Articles of Association of the company, not at all by the Government. It has a Board of Management, and we have our Annual General Meeting to about fifteen hundred shareholders. We account to them and it is totally run as a private sector company. I see no problem there.”

 

Reporter

“That’s B.T.L.; there is also Social Security – I think you are on the Investment Committee there, and one or two others.”

 

Nestor Vasquez

“Social Security is a independent institution, okay, and it serves the people in accordance with a separate law from whatever other company like B.T.L. or anything else would be.”

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