Don’t paint Christ Church East MP, Wilfred Abrahams, with the same brush used for all politicians.
“It bothers me when I hear people say all politicians are the same,” Abrahams told the House of Assembly as he gave an update on the Integrity in Public Life Committee’s work.
The committee is currently reviewing the Government’s proposed integrity legislation.
“We cannot step aside from this, because these laws have to bind us and every other Government in Barbados from now,” said Abrahams.
Abrahams also spoke of several irregularities discovered at the National Housing Corporation under the last Democratic Labour Party administration.
He said these included, “lots of overrunning contracts, people starting work when the NHC was insolvent, along with a $30 million dividend for the Housing Credit Fund contrary to the purpose for which it was established.”
He lamented that no-one had been “made to pay for them.”
Abrahams also said ministers had been signing contracts and hiring staff for statutory corporations without prior approval from their boards, Cabinet or the Solicitor-General and he upbraided board members for allowing this to happen.
“If a minister gives you a directive you do not agree with, it is your responsibility to say no, otherwise you are complicit in what happens. Ministers do not always get it right; the corporate entity must do the right thing by the corporation and the Government.”
Abrahams said Government was keen on getting all stakeholders on board with the new legislation.
To facilitate this, the MP for Christ Church East called for a four-week extension of the time given for the Integrity Committee to take a closer look at the legislation and to complete its work before the bill is brought to Parliament.
The committee is made up of Lower House and Upper House members. The public was invited to their meetings and asked to submit their views on the pending legislation.