Ministry of Finance Dance

minFaffidavitThis is the 12th July affidavit filed by the Ministry of Finance in reply to my claim under the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) filed against them in this matter.

This is a most interesting document for several reasons –

  • Attorneys – The legal team is led by Russell Martineau SC, former AG and former President of the Law Association. Martineau was lead attorney for CL Financial’s auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, during the recently-concluded Colman Commission and he strongly opposed my submissions as you can see in this revealing clip. His Junior in this case is Gerald Ramdeen, who was Junior Counsel to the said Colman Commission.
  • My recent supplemental application – On 18th March, I made a further application under the FoIA for the details of the creditors of CL Financial, particularly the EFPA holders, in relation to the amounts repaid and claimed. It is interesting that the Ministry of Finance chose to treat with this in their affidavit.
  • The objection – Despite several readings of this 5-page affidavit, I am not clearly able to see just what is the Ministry’s real reason for objecting to the release of the requested info.
  • State-controlled Enterprises – The recent Appeal Court ruling in #30 of 2008 on the meaning of State-controlled Enterprises is a real threat to the public interest in relation to the governance arrangements in situations like this. The final sentence of para #14 is “In any event, CL Financial Ltd. is a private company and is not a public authority under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.” Well I tell you.
  • The fundamental position – At the Court hearing on 23rd May, the lead attorney for Finance, Russell Martineau SC, was emphatic in stating to Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh that there was no intention of compromising or considering the release of even some of the requested information. It is going to be a fight for every item of information.
  • Public Secret – We are now being told that the bailout process for CL Financial is nearing its end with a procedure having been agreed for the recovery of the Public Money which has been spent. Serious and justified concerns are being voiced at this time since there is no way to be sure how much money has been spent or the terms of the final settlement. I will be writing more on this shortly. We are being told that the agreed terms of the settlement are solid in protecting the public interest, yet this very Ministry, Finance, is using a highly-paid legal team to oppose the publication of fundamental information.

The burning question remains…

What is the big secret?

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3 thoughts on “Ministry of Finance Dance

  1. Hi Afra:

    Great piece and interview. You will need a television series to really delve into the finite details of the many moving parts to this ongoing monologue. Keep asking the questions that seems to elude the “disinfectant of the Sunlight.” Nothing can hide in darkness forever for the light is powerful for it is truth and relativity. Ever notice how the straight and narrow path gets the most wear along the edges?
    These quotations sums up my response overall:

    “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” ― Carl Sagan

    I applaud your courage to take on the corruptible.
    .
    Thomas Jefferson said it best~ “Experience has shown that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”

    Unless there are stringent changes in the law and constitution, these things will continue to occur. The caller who made the suggestion that there need to be some type of process in doing business in the Caribbean is spot on. There needs to be some sort of overall treaty of best practices in doing business in the Caricom countries, or more of the same is to be expected. The US businesses with their cavalier practice of “les affaires” had to make changes to Wall Street and the Banking industry which almost took us back to a depression in this nation.Thus far no one has been prosecuted.
    Keep hope alive and push on to bring in the “Sunlight”

    Ingrid~

  2. We live in an era in which lexical, syntactical and pragmatic ambiguity is as pervasive as the disjunctive vagaries of economic, social and political transparency. We can all use elite constructs to obscure, mask and misrepresent the truth. The justice system is merely one such institution in a complex matrix that deceives the ruled about goodness, honesty and integrity. The elite jeer at the illiteracy of those they abuse as though theft has integrity or sin a morality of its own. It is so tough to be honest that many just pocket that virtue to feed their wards with the ephemeral hope that tomorrow will be a brighter day while the elite ensures that no son rises with these possibilities. Deficient academic, health, transportation and other services vie with surpluses in drug, laundering, weapon and carnal services. Entrepreneurial opportunities, promotional possibilities and genuine communal enterprises confront legal, economic and socio-psychological pressures from the same elite who control and exploit governmental structures designed to aid the electorate.

    The gibberish uttered by Daly, Thanki and Martineau confirm how time is consumed to prove that which is already transparent. When the masses err they are chided, ridiculed and upbraided for defaulting in petty payments, jaywalking and arresting the elite, but that one percent of us enjoy immunities in and out of parliament. The money spent on this commission could have repaid many of those whose contributions to Clico will not see justice. Mrs. Karen Nunez-Tesheira withdrew innocently and will retire comfortably along with the executive of Clico and others involved while taxpayers will await the accurate disbursements of their NIB contributions if they were recorded. Defunct companies cannot be audited nor their directors held accountable for monies due to the many who made the survival of those companies their top priority, again with the ephemeral hope that they will be paid one day. Perhaps we must praise those who rescued us from the damnations of jungle life, godlessness and civility. This is the golden age.

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