By their Fruits We Shall Know Them

Posted by at 27 May, at 12 : 37 PM Print

I was fortunate to be trained by an old Englishman whose way of resolving any conflict regarding the meaning of a word was to whip out the Dictionary.

In my own way I have followed that practice for several years thereafter, sometimes to the utter annoyance of my colleagues. I stand by my trainer, Mr. Norman Stalker on this one. His way was the correct way. How else would we resolve a conflict about the meaning of a word?

This led me to look up the ordinary meaning of the words Transparency, Accountability and Good Governance as they are used and abused and battered around these days. This is what I found:

Transparency:

• The state of Being Transparent

Transparent

• easy to see through, understand

• candid, open, frank

Accountability

• responsible to someone or for some action; answerable

• able to be explained

Good Governance

• good government

• good system of governing

Clearly nothing that we do now meets the above criteria. The government has failed to put its money where its mouth is. No system has been put in place in four years to ensure that there is modicum of transparency, accountability or good governance.

Against this background I want to propose a few ideas as to how our country can move towards attaining its set objectives.

1. Full Ministerial briefings to the population after each Cabinet meeting on the matters discussed in Cabinet;

2. Comprehensive Ministerial reports to the population after each overseas trip;

3. Monthly, Quarterly, Semi-Annually and Annual Reports on a range of government statistics and performance to be published in the newspapers and other forum for public consumption;

4. Full disclosure of all government transactions particularly regarding the acquisition and disposal of fixed assets;

5. Establishment of a Ministerial oversight committee to review all allegations of misconduct on the part of Ministers personal or otherwise;

6. The House Committee should have the power of subpoena and meet at a public place with the proceedings televised;

7. Legal proceedings should be instituted against members of the House where the committee establishes that there is a prima facie case to answer; and

8. The time frame for bringing a matter before the committee should be Five years. Matters of an exceptional nature can be provided in a lifetime statute of limitation.

There a few matters in the Public Domain that should be brought before the Committee immediately:

1. The accusation by the Leader of the Opposition that a high ranking Senior Minister received US $150,000 into his bank account in Grenada from a dubious source recently;

2. The accusation by one section of the NDC party that a Senior Minister received

US$100,000 into his account in New York and did not share it with the others;

3. The letter signed by a top government advisor making the rounds that several persons were promised Permanent Residence in exchange for money;

4. The accusation that the Hospital is now run by Sisters and Students; and

5. The fact that a Senior Minister who by his own admission was in arrears with his Mortgage payments before coming to office has been able to build a Mansion larger than the one that he was in arrears for, at a more exquisite location, within three years.

6. The ministerial advisers who seem to be unable to control their sexual urges among school children in particular.

In the United States what started off for John Edwards as a personal matter of cheating on his dying wife has now blossomed into a full scale trail with more twists and turns every day.

Yes I agree with you when you say that the matter of the sale of a plane in 1988 and ministerial bribery and money in briefcase allegations in 1998 should have been dealt with in that way and closed a long time ago.

Those of you who were in parliament at that time did not set up the structure to deal with these allegations properly. You preferred to use it for political platform jibes and to gain political mileage.

I want to suggest that you are stopped from crying foul today for your own omissions and quite clearly you are now out of time based on normal statute of limitations.

 

Garvey Louison FCCA

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