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Jul 6, 2017

Tracy Panton Says Inquiry is About Recommendations, Not Grandstanding

Tracy Panton

Has the senate inquiry run its course? Prior to calling several past and present ministers to testify before the Senate Special Select Committee, U.D.P. ministers have been singing the same chorus; that the inquiry on the Immigration Department has served its purpose and should be discontinued. The hearing has been disclosing information not known before on the rotten state of affairs at the immigration department involving the granting of Belizean Passports, nationalities and visas to unqualified persons that prompted the Prime Minister Dean Barrow to utter the infamous words, “For God’s sake, stop it.” Today, Minister Panton commented on the hearings.

 

Tracy Panton, Minister of State, Trade & Investment

“For me the most important objective to realize is I think we are pretty clear in where there have been weaknesses in the system; how do we correct the system? And I am not sure that prolonging the discussions….there seems to be a lot of political grandstanding from both sides—from members who are posing the questions and from people who are responding. I don’t know that that helps to serve the primary objective of the Senate Hearings and that is so that we can formulate recommendations that will help us to strengthen our system so that we can ensure transparency and accountability in all that we do.”

 

Reporter

“As an extension of that, many are questioning what will come after the senate because apart from saying maybe the senate hearings have run its course. many people are asking will any criminal action come afterwards? What’s the purpose? What will happen after the hearings are finished?”

 

Tracy Panton

“Well the terms of reference I think are very clear and the terms of reference is really to formulate recommendations on how we can improve our systems and the processes within that particular ministry to ensure that we can govern properly and that we can ensure that there are no discrepancies or irregularities that continue.”

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