Former Attorney General has called out the unions on their non-response to the previous administration when they sought to being the implementation process of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). After consecutive weeks of clamor by the joint unions for the full implementation of UNCAC, former Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte has spoken on the matter saying that it would not only be a long process, but that it would take deep pockets for Belize to be fully compliant.
Michael Peyrefitte, UDP Chairman: “It was a lot that the United Nations Convention Against Corruption was proposing because you have to understand very quickly what UNCAC is. UNCAC is not a thing. It’s not a single thing that you plug into a machine and then it operates. All UNCAC is the United Nations would propose to us a set of laws that should be on our book and once we have those laws on our books and we enforce them then we would be UNCAC compliant for lack of a better way to put it. When we got the full report with the full recommendation as I said before the Cabinet instructed me to pass that on to the unions for them to prioritize what they wanted to see happen first because some of them were very expensive like for example witness protection. You talk bout witness protection legislation but there’s a cost element to it. What if a person who wants to enter witness protection has to be accommodated with twenty five people in their family like hat ?: It comes at a heavy cost to the government so what the UDP Cabinet at the time did was they immediately instructed me to ask the union look for some low lying fruit. Look for some things that we could implement right away that would not be any trouble to implement because we wanted to give them an opportunity to have a say as to what we were to implement. But as I said and I repeat and I don’t want to quarrel with the unions but I said very clearly they never got back to us for us to implement any of the things that we would have thought would have been easy to do. So I don’t think that we can expect any government to implement and enforce all of them one lick but I think that there is an opportunity for us to do it in a step by step fashion where we implement some, we adapt some on a timely basis. So that’s been my position on it and that’s still my position on it.”