FINANCE Minister Colm Imbert announced in his Budget address that the Government would dispose of certain “non-strategic assets” in Public-Private Partnerships (PPP).
Imbert did not identify the taxpayer-owned assets, but they would surely be companies that are of commercial interest to prospective entrepreneurs.
In addition, the Minister said that the modern Phoenix Park Industrial Estate would be sold, under the Belt and Road Initiative, to the Chinese authorities.
In all of these cases, taxpayers – the true owners of the assets – would not know the details of the respective sales, because of the stringent limitations placed on the procurement legislation.
Government-to-Government transactions, along with legal, financial, accounting, auditing, medical and other services have been removed from the watered-down Public Procurement and Disposal of Property Act.
The UNC had fought against the weakening of the crucial law and voted against the measure in Parliament.
So, all these deals would be open to corruption, bid-rigging, and other forms of bobol, and would not meet the standards of accountability, transparency and value for money.
The PNM Government is presiding over wrongdoing with the people’s assets.