The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) met with the Prime Minister yesterday, and discussed the demands that were put forth by the union prior to their demonstration last week. Of those six demands, there were two on which the PM refused to budge. Those were the composition of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and publicizing the reports of the Integrity Commission. As it relates to PAC, PM Barrow stated that he is satisfied with the way the members are operating and rejects any change in its composition. We posed this issue to Business Senator, Mark Lizarraga, who stated that it is impossible for PAC to function properly with the majority of its members being a part of the government.
Mark Lizarraga, Senator: “I don’t think the Prime Minister be is being inconsistent. He’s acting the same way he’s acted all along. He believes that the government has the absolute right it seems to maintain full control of the institutions of oversight. I disagree with him. I think you were sent to Belmopan to govern, to administrate, to pass laws for the good of Belize and the good of the people in Belize. And I think if you had nothing to hide then you would not be opposed to having oversight mechanisms controlled by other people. Why would you want to maintain control of those oversight mechanisms as well ? That that defies this spirit of auditing and transparency. You can’t audit yourself.”