Yesterday the Senate Select Committee that will investigate the findings of the special immigration audits met for the first time. Well, the People’s United Party is pointing out that the meeting is null and void. In a release today the Opposition insists that the government is intent on railroading the establishment of an impartial and effective committee. After the Chamber’s special general meeting yesterday where the members voted for their senator not to participate in the inquiry as it currently stands, the media spoke with Opposition Senator Valerie Woods on the issues.


Screen_Shot_2016-10-13_at_8.07.31_PMSenator Valerie Woods – Opposition Senator

“As long as it a farce we will not participate, we have maintained that we are in solidarity with the noble effort of the BNTU, these are serious issues it is good governance issues we are not going to play around with it, if you are serious lets go with the committee of five, let ensure that there is a proper budget and lets ensure that we can all witnesses person with relevant information, that is not limited, if we are genuine and serious about good governance.”


“Mrs. Woods can we ask you in your capacity as a business woman representing a business here today, and looking at the process that transpired here, out here we saw a lot of people coming out exasperated really as what was happening in there, do you consider that in fact it was a democratic process what unfolded in there?”


Senator Valerie Woods – Opposition Senator

“I do consider that the Chamber put out its motion and it was very clear what the motion would be what is unfortunate is when we try to amend motions it would have created obvious confusion at the last minute and that is what can happen with any organization, I am very grateful as a member of Chamber that we stock with the original motions and we voted on what was sent out, the truth is in the interest of time, everybody gets busy so when we look at the time to look at the poll and we took the time to look at what the motion would have been we came prepared because we did our research on that every business person to amend it on the floor obviously and naturally would create some confusion but it is really a testament I think to the members who participated that they did their homework and they looked at the motion and they voted their conscience.”

Senator Woods, referring to the standing orders pointed to why they believe the Government senators do not want to hold the chair of the Senate Select Committee.

Senator Valerie Woods – Opposition Senator

“Again it demonstrates what we are saying all along it’s a complete farce to participate in this committee of six, it is very clear in the standing orders of the Senate, I believe it is standing order 72 (7) that the order of the Senate which was sent out by the Clerk, the only business to be conducted today is the selection of the Chair and once that chair is selected then you can continue with the working of the Senate Select Committee, we understand that no chair was selected and the President continue to preside therefore in our view and in the common sense view of any meeting that is held that is null and void there was no Chair, today’s meeting was not a Senate meeting it should have been the Senate Special Select Senate Committee meeting on the investigation of the scandals on Immigration and it was very clear in the standing orders what should have occurred today it did not occur meting proceeded and therefore its null and void, we continue to maintain it’s a farce, another area which we would like to direct your attention to, is area 73(4) of the standing orders very clear; the Chairperson of the Senate Select Committee will when it comes to a division of a vote that person does not have a vote they have a casting vote it is not different than the President of the Senate an so there is a reason in our humble view that the government is insisting on a committee of six because on a committee of six where your social partner is the Chair understand that that person does not have an original vote only a casting vote in the event of an equality of votes, now you do the math with five there will never be an equality of votes so you must ask yourself if you are the NTUCB which is a labor Union movement and if you are the business sector how is it that you can participate as char knowing that you do not have a vote that really speaks to good governance, you only have a casting vote in a committee of six if there is an equality of vote, one from six means five and therefore there will never be equality.”


“The government side today apparently said that they did not to hold the Chair position however they would have to would be forced to if in fact none of the Senators representing the Social partners would be able to?”

Senator Valerie Woods – Opposition Senator

“Then they should do that and they should know that they don’t have a vote they only have a casting vote in the event of an inequality of vote and that is the reason why they are refusing the committee of five.”

The Opposition today in their release wrote and we quote, “As a duly-elected Opposition with a mandate to serve the people, we are dismayed that the government refuses to listen to strident calls for good governance. The demands are for the implementation of measures that would provide critical checks and balances in government and would restore integrity to a governance system which has gone completely awry.” End quote.

Share this post

This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comment.

Headline News