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“In no good conscience should public contracts be awarded”- Senator Woods

In a letter sent by Prime Minister Dean Barrow to PUP Senator Valerie Woods, the government confirms that Godwin Arzu has not submitted annual reports during his tenure as Contractor General. The Government attempted to reappoint Arzu for a further two years but the reappointment was withdrawn after Senators pointed out that Arzu was not complying with the Contractor General Act. The Act states that Arzu, as the Contractor General, must submit annual reports relating to his functions. It is believed that he has not submitted a report since 2013. His tenure came to an end at the end of 2017. Since then there has been no Contractor General and Senator Woods says that awarding of public contracts should be put on pause until another Contractor General is identified and successfully appointed.

Valerie Woods, PUP Senator

“If there is no Contractor General, in no good conscience should public contracts be awarded, how are they being vetted if  there is no Contractor General or even an Acting Contractor General. The situation is one Mr. Novelo where the Belizean public is simply in the dark on this matter like many other matters and we will not rest on this at least in the Opposition in demanding the answers to the questions that we’ve been asking. We’re not playing politics with this; there is law, it has not been complied with, the action of not complying with Laws of Belize is no different than what occurred in the most recent Senate meeting where it’s clear with the Supplementary Appropriation Bill that the Government of Belize continues to ignore the laws of Belize. The Finance Reform Act was quite frankly fought for by many in this country including some of those who sit on the government side now and the regulations that were put in place under this government were intended to strengthen and enhance our fiscal responsibility, our capabilities mechanism. Our accountability and transparency and with good reason. At the last Senate Meeting we also uncovered that that too has not been complied with so yes government knowingly is not complying with the Law of Belize no different than what occurred with the Contractor General where you cannot put up and appointment for someone that has not complied with the Law that regulates that office.”

 According to the Prime Minister, Government is seeking a suitable individual to succeed Arzu as Contractor General.