The Auditor General’s Report has not highlighted any dishonesty or ‘tiefing’ by Government.
So says Minister in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Ryan Straughn, who today vehemently denied any wrongdoing by the Mia Mottley-led administration during its four years in office.
Speaking during debate in Parliament on the Electric Light and Power (Amendment) Bill, 2022, Straughn maintained that Government had been transparent in its actions and had done nothing wrong.
“There is nothing in the Auditor General’s Report that would lead anybody to conclude realistically that there has been any ‘tiefing’, corruption or anything, and I use that word deliberately because Bajans need to understand that what the Auditor General is referring to in his report are issues of how do you account for the money.
“I must admit it is a system that we’ve inherited. We have been making improvements along the way but there is no tiefing highlighted in any of those reports and I am proud to stand here today to say that this Government has been consistent with respect to its conduct in delivering for the people…” Straughn said.
He pointed to the fact that every year since 2019, through the establishment of a Standing Finance Committee, Barbadians had the opportunity to watch ministers and public servants come into Parliament and answer questions specifically about what is happening in their respective ministries.
And while member of Parliament for St Michael South Central Marsha Caddle also defended any wrongdoing by Government, she admitted she was concerned by the report.
Caddle, a former minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment, said there was an urgent need for Government to address and respond to all of the issues raised in the report.
“Some of these observations that were made in the Auditor General’s Report point to not malfeasance, not misappropriation, not a Government that set targets and didn’t meet them, but point to systems that still leave room to be improved… and I think we need to be able to show the difference.
“This is a Government that came to service on a platform of transparency and accountability and this is a Government that can stand by that platform of transparency and accountability. And the way that we would do it is to take every single claim or assertion that is made by the Auditor General in this report and to respond to it one, by one, by one, by one. It must be done and I think that we have to take the trust of the Barbadian people, we have to cradle it in our arms because it was lost by the last administration,” Caddle stressed. (RB)