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Mar 6, 2019

P.U.P., PAC Chairman File Suit against Finance Minister Dean Barrow

In 2015, Prime Minister Dean Barrow was forced to pass the Petrocaribe Loans Act retroactively. This was after it was pointed out that the hundreds of millions of dollars that the government received as a loan from the Venezuelan Government through the Petrocaribe initiative needed parliamentary approval. The law stipulates that the government must get approval from parliament for any loan agreement or contract that is ten million dollars or more. The P.U.P. says that over the past ten years, G.O.B. has ignored the Finance and Audit Reform Act and has passed dozens of General Revenue Supplementary Appropriations amounting to one point three billion dollars without approval of parliament. On Monday, Leader of the Opposition, John Briceño and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Julius Espat lodged a legal claim in the Supreme Court against the Minister of Finance, Prime Minister Dean Barrow. According to Espat, the basis of the claim is rooted in the breach of section three of the Finance and Audit Reform Act.

 

Julius Espat

Julius Espat, Chairman, Public Accounts Committee

“We did more investigations and we started from since he became Prime Minister in 2008. We made a log of all the supplementary allocations that have been done from 2008 to 2018. It adds up to about one point three billion dollars that he has been spending unlawfully meaning that he is not abiding by the Constitution of Belize and he is not abiding by the Finance and Audit Reform Act that was passed. There are various justifications as to why the claim was being done. One, in the case of 2012/2013 in the Auditor General’s report she states that ninety add million dollars was spent without even having a warrant. So that, number one, was a blatant concern for us. And there are other situations where he has done supplementary allocations to be able to justify monies that have been spent already. What we decided to is to file this claim because we thought it was important that the rule of law be followed. The Prime Minister has been doing specifically that in the budget without any consultation, without any analysis and he has been getting away with it every year by spending more forty percent of the estimated budget through supplementary allocations which is unlawful. We thought it was important that this claim be brought. It is the second claim we have done base on similar items because if the leader of the country, if the  administrator of the funds who is the Financial Secretary and the legal representative of the people who is the Attorney General are not following the rule of law then we have a serious problem in our country. We thought this was important that this be taken to the judiciary so that they can make a judgment on the situation. We can’t continue this way of going close to four billion dollars in debt and spending the people’s money without getting formal authorization to do so. If not you are acting very similar to how a dictator operates.”


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No Responses for “P.U.P., PAC Chairman File Suit against Finance Minister Dean Barrow”

  1. Marie says:

    Why are you bringing this up now? PUP, has people in parliament that I’m sure was aware. This is usually public news, why now? All you people should be locked up for stealing and lying.

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