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Dec 16, 2016

Is there still time to stop Net Vasquez appointment to Integrity Commission?

Godwin Hulse

There have been seven persons recommended, but not yet appointed, to the Integrity Commission. It has been fifteen days since the names of Marilyn Williams for Chairman; Armead Gabourel; Lisbeth Delgado; Wilmot Simmons; Nestor Vasquez; Melissa Balderamos Mahler and Claudet Grinage were submitted to the Senate and approved, though not without contention. In the case of Vasquez, in particular, 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, is expired as of 2009. While Prime Minister Dean Barrow has not forwarded the names to Governor General Sir Colville Young, is it too late for intervention to have the I.C.A.’s recognized nominee, Warren Coye, be appointed? Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Godwin Hulse, says no, as he awaits their writing to him.


Godwin Hulse, Leader of Government Business

“There are a few things that have come up, but this is my position – as of this moment as I am standing here, I have not heard from the competent authority, which is the Council of the Association, the Accountants’ Association; the competent authority is the Council. The Council has not written to myself, nor to the President; nor to the Prime Minister, to indicate any adverse position with respect to Mister Vasquez on the date that motion was passed. And everything else is hearsay. Things are flying around in the media, but I think you all know me – I work strictly from the documentation, and I will put my own little plug to say, with respect to, for example, the Draft Report on Immigration, where one reporter asked if I didn’t see it – nothing has been sent to me officially; I’m still waiting. So I don’t comment on the things in the press and other things; I don’t act. In other words, if there is an issue with Mister Vasquez at the time the Senate appointed him – or, the Senate did not appoint him; let me correct that – when the Senate approved the Prime Minister’s recommendation to the Governor General to appoint, we have not heard anything to the contrary from the Council. I must say, nobody has been appointed yet. That is a fact, because I have asked in Cabinet and Prime Minister has not advised the Governor General to appoint anybody; so that is where that stands.”


Hulse reiterated that an amendment to the Prevention of Corruption Act in regard to the definition of “public servant” is needed but some consultation must be done first. The appointments of Vasquez and others are limited until then.


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