Senate Special Select Committee to Hold Public Hearings on Portico Definitive Agreement in November

Senate Special Select Committee to Hold Public Hearings on Portico Definitive Agreement in November

The Senate Special Select Committee established to investigate the Portico Definitive Agreement will begin holding public hearings in November. The Committee issued an update yesterday after holding its fourth meeting on Monday. Among the topics discussed were the six-month budget to be submitted to the Ministry of Finance, shortlisting attorneys interested in providing legal advice and discussing tenders submitted by media houses to carry live broadcasts of the public hearings. To further its work, the committee requested information, documents, and data from Cabinet Secretary Stuart Leslie, the Integrity Commission, and BELTRAIDE. While BELTRIADE has already responded, the responses from the Integrity Commission and Cabinet Secretary are still pending. In May, the country learned of the Definitive Agreement between the Government of Belize and Portico Enterprises Limited, for the construction of the Port of Magical Belize cruise ship facility near the Sibun River, off the coast of the Belize District. It was signed back in October 2020, under the previous administration, and was almost enforced by this administration, but that approval was halted when the agreement was leaked into the public domain, and subsequently brought on much opposition.  In July, the Senate approved an inquiry into the agreement, and the Select Committee held its first meeting on August 15. 

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