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Feb 28, 2020

G.O.B. Cannot Police Itself; Senators Ask for Independence & Transparency

Elena Smith

According to the notes of the N.T.U.C.B. meeting, the Prime Minister is not yielding on the composition of oversight bodies, such as the Integrity Commission and the Public Accounts Committee. Senators Lizarraga and Smith both agree that the government cannot police itself so these committees need to be independent and transparent.


Elena Smith, Union Senator

“You say nothing is what you do. You strategize. That’s all you do. That’s the best response. If you get to a point where you are saying I am not going to move and you are acting in a stubborn way, then it matters not what I say to you. You will remain with that position. So all I have to do now is strategize to see what I need to do to shift that position. So the N.T.U.C.B. must now meet and strategise and see what will be next.”


Mark Lizarraga

Mark Lizarraga, Senator for Business Community

“I think the social partners have had a lot of history when it comes to this particular matter. We don’t believe in the principle that you should police yourself.  And that in effect is what we have today and the government refuses to move from that. They are very guarded in that regard. They don’t want oversight, they don’t want independent accountability, they don’t want to be transparent in a lot of the things that they do, especially when it comes to those oversight mechanisms that speak to government spending and borrowing.”


Elena Smith

“From the time we put the position out that we wanted it to be changed—the composition to be changed—it meant that we don’t agree. We feel like not because you have majority in government you must be majority on these boards because these committees are very important. They play an important role and should be independent so that they can carry out the work that they ought to be carrying out. And if it is that you want to have majority, then these committees will not be independent. Obviously they are going to be working to suit whoever is in power. And if we continue that way then we will forever be where we are. We won’t have any changes or see the things that need to be done to make the changes to the system that we complain about.”


The N.T.U.C.B. executive meets on Saturday to discuss the minutes of the meeting with the PM.

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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