Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Featured » A Glimpse at the Contractor General’s Latest Report
Dec 6, 2021

A Glimpse at the Contractor General’s Latest Report

The Contractor General’s Report, for the period February 2020 through March 2021, has been published and made available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as well as the President of the Senate.  The thirty-eight page document compiled by the Office of Contractor General Omar Mitchell examines the aggregate number of contracts that were awarded by the Government of Belize during the period in question.  Incidentally, it is also the identifiable time during which the COVID-19 pandemic crippled the local economy.  When the People’s United Party took over in November 2020, its primary focus was the reduction of recurrent expenditure, implementing belt-tightening measures as part of a national policy.  Nonetheless, since presenting its budget for the current fiscal year, the Briceno administration has returned to parliament for at least two supplementary allocations, both of them within the past six weeks.  Between February 2020 and March 2021, the Ministry of Health and Wellness issued two hundred and thirteen contracts at a combined value of forty-two million, seven hundred and seventy thousand, eight hundred and sixty-seven thousand dollars and twenty-nine cents.  It’s the most for any government department in the Contractor General’s Report.  Second to that is the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing which awarded seventy-eight contracts at roughly twenty-eight million dollars.  Those monies were used, in part, for urgent roadwork in the aftermath of hurricanes Eta and Iota.  During Friday‘s house meeting, PM Briceno stated that the Caribbean Development Bank will be refunding five million dollars used for those infrastructure repairs.  Even so, it raised concerns on the part of the opposition about accountability.  For context, here is that exchange.


[File: December 3rd, 2021]

Prime Minister John Briceno

“This is a loan for two point five million dollars US, but basically it is just a refund for monies that we spent during the emergency for Hurricanes Iota and Etta when we had entire large – miles and miles of areas under water. Whilst we spent the money, the CDB said that we can spend it and then once we show them that we’ve spent the money they were going to refund it, so basically that’s all that we’re doing. All we’re going to do is refund for monies that we have already spent, based on a loan.”


Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Leader of the Opposition

“What we cannot understand, Mr. Speaker, is the Prime Minister’s continuous position, along with that of his Government and in particular, his Minister of Infrastructure Development, who was a stalwart for calling out the UDP when they were in Government for transparency and accountability. So if you’ve spent all of this money to fix the infrastructure that was damaged by these two hurricanes, let us be accountable to the people.”


Julius Espat

Julius Espat, Minister of Infrastructure Development

“Mr. Speaker, we gave the Contractor General a complete report of the twelve point five million dollars that was spent for the emergency spending. Your agent, Mr Jules Vasquez, yes Leader of the Opposition because it seems that you speak to him and he is your main advisor. I am saying this because you mentioned it. Your main advisor did request from us the report. We were advised by the Contractor General. Mr Vasquez was also advised by the Contractor General. He was requesting from our Ministry that our report not be made public until the Contractor General could submit his report. The Contractor General has now submitted his report and therefore, the document that we provided will be made public.”

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.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed