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It is not a ‘Government Guarantee’, it is a “Compensation Mechanism’

The Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) fire off a release dismissing claims that the Belize Civic Center Management Contract is in any legal breach of the laws of Belize. In the release, BIL states that the claims are baseless and politically motivated. The Belize Civic Center Management Contract was awarded to Apex Event Services – Belize Limited which is owned and operated by Chad Eckert. Before signing the contract BIL says that it ensured full legal review and approval from the Office of the Solicitor General. Last week Thursday the People’s United Party release a statement in which it claimed that the Financial Secretary Joseph Waight confirmed that there is no guarantee agreement between the Government of Belize and Apex Belize Limited. But if such guarantee exists, the PUP asserted that the government has once again violated the Finance and Audit Reform Act. However, BIL has rebutted, saying that there is no breach of the Finance & Audit (Reform) Act. The Act, according to BIL, mandate requirements of the Government when it barrows monies or when guarantees as additional security for private entities in the event that they cannot make repayments to the banks is provided. BIL’s General Manager, Christy Mastry, says this is not the case.

Christy Mastry, General Manager, Belize Infrastructure Limited: The section on compensation is scripted particularly to say that the Government of Belize has decided to find a private entity to run this facility to run this facility for the exact allocated amount we would have spent to run it ourselves. The unique situation about this contract is that should the entity be able to earn in gross revenue that we sought for operational expenses which is the $850,000, which is being talked about, anything above that become a revenue share with the government so now we have taken an asset that would have been a liability and would have had to be placed with a subvention to any line ministry budget in order to keep the facility doors open, we have not taken our asset at put it into the mode where it can earn money and revenue back for the government while forcing the entity, the proponent, the company of Apex to maintain the facility in pristine condition to the level in which we are handing it over as of March 19 when we signed the contract. There is no guarantee in the scene of and this is where the term is being misconstrued- guarantee in the sense of if the company fails that the government is in any way tied to any third party debtor that the company has signed alternate borrowing of monies for it’s facility to be run, that is very important. What we are doing is a simple compensation mechanism for services rendered. I as the professional architect used the word guarantee because I mean it with no malice. Unfortunately certain circumstances have come to light within the past year that guarantees have been used in contractual obligations that have put the government in a very frustrating position. There is nothing in this contract that is in breach of any law of Belize, this is a simple compensation mechanism.”

The contract will be upload on BIL’s website on Monday when it is relaunched.