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Aug 31, 2018

PM Says Cabinet Wouldn’t Sweep NICH Fiasco Under the Carpet

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Barrow also weighed in on the NICH debacle, reiterating that embattled president Sapna Budhrani will be placed on administrative leave as of Monday.  Budhrani will remain president of the institute until she is either vindicated or implicated at the end of an external audit.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“As she said, obviously the letter placing her on leave had not yet been received by her.  I hope it was already dispatched, but she also made a valid point.  When she is placed on leave she doesn’t cease thereby to be president of NICH.  She is president on leave.  I want to make clear that this is not about seeking to punish this lady, the board has come out in her defense and the board is entitled to do that.  The Deputy Prime Minister has been defending her all along and he is entitled to do that.  Cabinet had to act in the way it did because of the allegations raised by the internal auditor.  There is no doubt that those allegations resulted in media focus, media scrutiny.  Not to put too fine a point on it, a scandal; perhaps of relatively minor proportions but a scandal nevertheless.  Cabinet can’t sweep that under the carpet or take anybody’s word for it who might have an interest to serve that no, the lady is as pure as the driven snow.  So, Cabinet said simply, just let her go on leave until you can bring in the external auditor to inquire into these allegations.  Once the external auditor was to say no, as the board has said, no, fairly there is no real merit in the allegations, then the lady can in fact resume her duties and her position if that is the finding of the external auditor.”



“However, the clear theme of the press conference is that you guys got it wrong.  The Cabinet got it wrong.  Either they cannot apprehend the correct information or they were not apprised of the information.  Sir that’s insulting.”


Dean Barrow

“That can make no sense.  Well, if what you’re saying is true, if that’s how they framed it, then the insult would lie elsewhere because that suggests that Cabinet made some determination on the merits.  We were not concerned to decide whether the allegations that were made are correct you know.”

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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