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Jul 5, 2017

Why a Recommendation is Only a Recommendation

Minister Martinez poured out his troubles to the press last Wednesday, including an extensive discussion about the need for recommending persons to obtain visas, passports and nationality and whether a Minister’s recommendation made the person more likely to obtain what they wanted. While various Immigration officers have suggested that they trembled before the might of the Cabinet, both Martinez and his colleague Edmond Castro today maintained that the stroke of their pens, at least to their knowledge, made no more difference than normal. Martinez also referred to the U-turn made by Auditor General Dorothy Bradley about the legitimacy of the weight of the recommendation on the Department’s decisions.

 

Anthony “Boots” Martinez

Anthony “Boots” Martinez, Minister of Human Development

“In terms of clarity, even where my name appears once for making a recommendation, in terms of clarity, where the Auditor General recant and say she prefers to say that recommendations for visas were “irregular.” In the book she said it was “illegal;” she recanted and said it was “irregular.”

 

Elena Smith, Pro-tem Chair, Senate Special Select Committee

“Do you believe that a recommendation coming from any Minister had any weight on a decision that was to be made on the application?”

 

Anthony “Boots” Martinez

“I would hope that when you make a recommendation, it’s a good suggestion; when you make recommendation for anything it’s a good suggestion; that is something that you believe in.”

 

Elena Smith

“So if you make a recommendation and it comes to me, what should I think of that recommendation, because you say that it’s a good suggestion?”

 

Anthony “Boots” Martinez

“Think something good of it; yes, think something good of it!”

 

Elena Smith

“So should that be telling me then, because you recommended it, it’s a good suggestion, that I should accept?”

 

Anthony “Boots” Martinez

“No, no, no; ;providing that the other requirements, like I said last week in the media – I made a recommendation for a constituent to Public Service; that recommendation was denied. It was denied because the person never had the qualification. It was a good suggestion on my behalf, but recommendation is not requirement.”

 

Edmond Castro

Edmond Castro, Minister of Transport and NEMO

“A recommendation is a recommendation is a recommendation is a recommendation.”

 

Elena Smith

“And the question remains, Minister: what role in your view did it play?”

 

Edmond Castro

“It remains the same; a recommendation is a simple piece of document, somebody would come and ask you for – I would like this piece of land; if the land is available, I write, if it’s available, recommending the person for it. It’s the same thing, basic, basic recommendation is just that; nothing else.”

 

Elena Smith

“And I am asking, as it relates to visas, what role did a recommendation play? What role did it play? Did it have any in your view?”

 

Edmond Castro

“It’s the same thing, madam; ih noh change based on what you are recommending for, whether it’s for a piece of land, a scholarship, or a visa, or a job; a recommendation is a recommendation is a recommendation is a recommendation, it noh change. Just like black da black da black da black, a recommendation is basic, a recommendation.”

 

Elena Smith

“There are different shades but anyway, again I come back. Was it expected that if a recommendation is given – and I am not saying that is the way you did it – I’m saying, can it be said that persons who took in a recommendation from a Minister expected that it would facilitate the process faster or that would assist them in any way to get through with a visa quicker than a person who would have a recommendation from any person?”

 

Edmond Castro

“I think they would hope; it’s a hope, but it does not necessarily mean that it is gazetted that you will or shall get that, whatever it is; there is a hope – that’s the reason why they come to an area representative or Minister to assist them with that, but there’s no guarantee.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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