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Mar 25, 2019

No Contractor General and No Auditor General’s Report on BIL

The Office of the Contractor General has remained vacant since 2018, when government chose not to renew its agreement with Godwin Arzu who failed to submit six annual reports during his term of office.  In the absence of that government-appointed individual, contracts have instead been directed to the Solicitor General’s office for revision.  While it raises serious concerns in respect of the awarding of public contracts, the Opposition is equally troubled by the fact that Belize Infrastructure Limited, BIL, has not been audited since its establishment in 2012.  During the budget debate, Lake Independence Area Representative Cordel Hyde raised the issue, calling into question the awarding of lucrative government contracts to International Environments Limited, as well as the financial records of the BIL, which government dubbed as its private development vehicle.

 

Cordel Hyde, Area Representative, Lake Independence

“BIL, Belize Infrastructure Limited, was formed in 2012 by government, as its agent to undertake the design construction and management of capital projects in Belize.  But seven years later, there has been no audits presented to the public, even though this entity has spent millions upon millions of taxpayers’ money.  Now we know most of the contracts under BIL have been gone, have been gifted to a certain company called International Environments…  That was not done by the auditor general’s office my brother.  It’s public monies, it’s the auditor general who should do the audit.  You don’t get a private auditor and try to pass it off as some audit because private auditors are humans, don’t pretend they are gods.  The people who are supposed to do the public audits on the public funds are from the Auditor General’s Office and you have sidestepped them.  And there’s a reason for that, most of the contracts have been gifted to a certain contractor, a certain company.  That company is called International Environments Limited, the concern of brothers Daniel and Carlo Arguelles, brothers of the former Speaker of the House.  As you know, they built Battlefield Park in Belize City, Memorial Park in Belize City, BTL Park in Belize City, they built Falcon Field in San Ignacio, the football field in San Pedro, the Sports Complex in PG, the Hilltop roof construction in Belmopan and they got the mother of all contracts, the thirty-four million dollar Civic Center, Marion Jones too?  Everywhere dehn eat!!  You’re talking about millions and millions of dollars in public contracts and we have not seen an audit from the Auditor General’s Office.”

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