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Jan 11, 2022

Commission of Inquiry Finding: None of the Vehicle Sales Were in Compliance with the Law

The Commission of Inquiry into the sale of public assets between October 2019 and November 2020 is over, and its report was released today. The findings in the forty-six-page document are not entirely surprising. Twenty-two witnesses called to testify, including former Prime Minister Dean Barrow, and at least three former Ministers of Government between February and August of last year. Today, the Commission Chair, Senior Counsel Andrew Marshalleck, told News Five that the Commission found that none of the sales that took place under the previous administration were in compliance with the law. He explained that this was the case because the Ministry of Finance had adopted an informal procedure to sell off the assets. Because the process did not follow the legal guidelines for such sales, everyone who participated in those transactions, including two Ministers of Government at the time, were violating the law.


Senior Counsel, Andrew Marshalleck

Senior Counsel, Andrew Marshalleck, Chair, Commission of Inquiry

“The sale of public assets is governed by the provisions of the Finance and Audit Reform Act and it requires that the sale be done through one of three possible tendering processes – the open tender, the selective tender or the limited tender. There wasn’t an attempt to do any of it, so that all the sales fell afoul of the law. Given that the procedure itself – the informal procedure adopted by the Ministry of Finance was selling cars was itself flawed. Everybody who participated in that procedure would have been guilty of some wrongdoing. The trouble is that, um, that it was the collective whole that was doing it wrong – each and every moving part within the process and not any one individual. So the whole thing was bad and even purchasers would have gotten unwittingly caught up in that wrong procedure.”


Marion Ali

“In a scenario like this, can anyone or can the collective group be held accountable, responsible?”


Senior Counsel, Andrew Marshalleck

“Well everybody must be held accountable and it must be corrected, going forward. I know when people ask that, they generally ask it in the context of somebody being criminally charged or being punished for what happened. I don’t think that can happen.”

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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