NTUCB Opposes Ministry of Health’s Switch to Smart Telecom

NTUCB Opposes Ministry of Health’s Switch to Smart Telecom

The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) has written to Prime Minister Briceno expressing dissatisfaction with the Ministry of Health switching telephone providers from BTL to Smart. The umbrella organization says it believes the decision has far-reaching consequences for the viability of BTL and the well-being and quality of life of the people of Belize. The NTUCB is strongly urging the government to reconsider the decision and prioritizes the security of the Belizean people’s investment in BTL. The union remains GOB as a majority shareholder in BTL, it has a responsibility to ensure that this national asset is not compromised. The NTUCB says it guards scrupulously any shifting of government telecom business away from our national telecom provider to SMART – a private company with familial ties to the Prime Minister. Furthermore, it views any government investment in SMART as tantamount to a conflict of interest. The NTUCB demands that the government uphold its commitment to good governance and strengthen the oversight bodies, including the Office of the Contractor General, Integrity Commission, Ombudsman, Procurement Office, and Auditor General’s Office, and modernize the Finance and Audit Acts to prevent nepotism and conflict of interest and include strong remedies for breaches of the Finance and Audit Act. Additionally, it urges the management of BTL to offer the government a competitive package that ensures the continued survival of our national communications company.

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