The following article reproduced from the Barbados Advocate at the request of a DLP supporter.
His Honour Senator The Very Reverend Harold Crichlow says he would like at some point to hear Opposition senators give an account on the behalf of the previous government, on issues raised in “disturbing reports” from the Auditor General.
His call for Opposition senators to speak on this issue came as he spoke in the Senate yesterday, on the Catastrophe Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2012.
“I don’t think that any Government, this present one included, should just be contented with the millions of dollars that the Auditor General said cannot be accounted for. This is the big problem that we need to tackle in this country. Granted the economic stress we’re having, I don’t think that we would be in as deep a problem now if those monies that the Auditor General spoke about, were repaid or reclaimed. We would be in a position to do so much,” Crichlow stated.
However, Opposition Senator Kerrie Symmond, in response to Crichlow rose on a point of order to indicate that any one member of the Opposition cannot account for the wide array of issues raised in the previous Auditor General’s report.
He however stressed that if Crichlow wanted to bring a private member’s resolution to address any of the issues with specificity, he would be willing to be part of that debate. However, he maintained that he had no collective responsibility as a member of the previous Cabinet and therefore, cannot be asked to shed light on where money went and who should put it back.
Continuing his contribution Crichlow then stated, “There are only two members of the Opposition in the Senate and that is a tremendous disadvantage I think. It is being said that the Senate cannot hear what the former Government did because one member who was a minister of that Government cannot take responsibility. I know that the Opposition only has two members, but how are the other members of the Senate to hear what happened to those millions of dollars that were not accounted for? Where do we have to go to hear that?”
“I thought that anything coming up in the Senate where the former Government was accused, that members of the Opposition here and certainly one who formed part of the Government, would be able to tell us. I am not saying that he is responsible, but surely he could have asked other members of the Government why certain things were done and so on, but in any case, Cabinet is supposed to act as one. It is the Government and I think that when such questions are raised, the members of the Senate representing the Opposition should get the answer from those who ought to know something about it, so that we here can know what happened. Because all we have been knowing for a couple of months is trying to understand how those millions of dollars went unaccounted for and nobody can tell us why,” he concluded. (RSM)