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Oct 31, 2017

P.U.P. Tells P.M.: Release B.I.L. Contracts

John Briceño

On Friday, Belize Infrastructure Limited issued a press statement firing back on the public characterization of its efforts on the failed Lake Independence Boulevard construction. While acknowledging that the lack of stone-based fill directly led to parts of the road sinking despite the hot mix placed on it, the special-purpose company blames its low budget and tight timeline. It also attempts to throw back some of the mud at the Ministry of Works, pointing out that it has had representation on the Board of BIL and that the Board was not aware of any competing or conflicting engineering designs to the Lake Independence Boulevard. P.U.P. leader John Briceno is skeptical, to say the least, and intends to write the Prime Minister asking for details of each contract tendered out by BIL, to satisfy himself that there has not been, as he alleged, collusion in the granting of contracts in the municipalities to ruling party supporters.

 

John Briceño, P.U.P. Leader

“This whole back-and-forth now where the Prime Minister throws it in the lap of B.I.L., Ministry of Works throws it in the lap of B.I.L., now B.I.L. is throwing it back to them and [saying], Ministry of Works, you sit around the table with us and you could have seen something is wrong and didn’t do anything. It’s almost like nobody cares: it’s just about spending the money, giving out the contracts and in my mind I believe it’s all about the hustle where kickbacks, I believe, are being given out; to different people. So they just want to hurry sign this contract and get the money. I think that there has to be more accountability in what has transpired in B.I.L. since its inception. Not one single audited report has been presented at the National Assembly; as the Leader of the Opposition I’ve seen no reports. We are in the process of writing the Prime Minister, as Leader of the Opposition – and right now our P.U.P. lawyers are going through the letter to make sure everything is properly worded – where I am asking the Prime Minister that I want a copy of all the contracts, and I want also a copy of all the people that applied for each contract, to see who has been chosen and the reasons why that person has been chosen, and that we need to take a complete and full audit of what has been taking place at B.I.L. And until we do that, speculation is going to continue, because in the minds of the Belizean people, they believe that B.I.L. is a scam; it’s a grab-tub; it’s a special hustle vehicle that has been set up by the U.D.P. Government of Belize.”

 

BIL C.E.O. Christy Mastry has told us that BIL has engaged Grant Thornton agency to conduct audits from 2014 to present and these are due to be completed by the end of the year.

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