Among the Senators at today’s Committee hearing was Church Senator Pastor Ashley Rocke. Pastor Rocke has played a controversial role in the establishing of the Senate inquiry. First he supported a Senate Committee proposed by the Opposition, then minutes later opposed it and supported a Bi-Cameral Committee proposed by the Government. He returned days later only to propose the Senate Committee which was accepted by a majority of Senators. Today, Pastor Rocke appeared on the offensive as he questioned the Auditor General’s terms of reference and scope of work.

 

Pastor Ashley Rocke, Church Senator


“I only have two questions for you at this time trying to understand your terms of reference your department terms of reference, as it relates to your comments that you came across a memo from Labour Ministry or somewhere, is that the way your department works or do you have continual oversight over government entities?”


Screen_Shot_2016-11-09_at_8.15.41_PMMrs. Dorothy Bradley – Auditor General


“My role as Auditor General is to provide reasonable assurance to the Government of Belize that the appropriation Bill passed which is the budget approved is manage in and effective and efficient manner utilizing value for money and this covers goods, services, everything that is in possession of the government of Belize, the services I provide then it enhances accountability of the Executive.”


Pastor Ashley Rocke, Church Senator


“So your department would be calling on Special occasions only or you don’t create…”


Mrs. Dorothy Bradley – Auditor General


“Well, actually there are so many different versions of it; a department ministry can come to me and ask for assistance that I carry out an audit, I have mandatory audits that I must do, the financial audits and then I have audits of this nature where I would use my incoming where all the ministries and departments as it relates to a government loss in revenues loss in property that particular ministry or department would deal with whatever the case maybe and then a copy would be send to my office based on those incoming information then I would go through and selectively choose if I so desire to do so.”


Today the media spoke to both the Chairman of the Senate Inquiry Aldo Salazar who spoke about the delay in the hearings and P.U.P Senator Eamon Courtney who spoke on the importance of the Auditor General’s Report.

 

Aldo Salazar – Chairman of the Senate Inquiry


“Had they participated from the beginning we would not have a reason for a bit of a delay, as you see it was an abbreviated session and I think that those matters could have been addressed had there been participation from the beginning but having said that I understand that it is not a personal decision for them but I think that we could have proceeded without the need for delay, as you asked for the timeline I think that we want to move ahead as expeditiously as possible we haven’t set a date for the next session as yet because we need to do certain things and we have decided to engage an Attorney to assist with the procedure we had some deliberations in relation to that so we are not able to say an exact date but we are going to engage the services on an Attorney and after we’ve done so we’ll then set a date.”


Screen_Shot_2016-11-09_at_8.15.22_PMSenator Eamon Courtney - Opposition Representative


“I think that the Auditor General’s report is quite comprehensive we need for her to clarify on the record the procedure she adopted, the way in which she reached certain conclusions, we need for her to indicate to us the evidence that she had, the evidence that she did not get and that is one of the issues that we will be taking up the fact that the Senate will insist in getting those things and then maybe having seen that maybe she may want to change her report, we are at a very preliminary stage and I think that the Auditor General’s report and her evidence is going to be very helpful in terms of the long term, in terms of what recommendations the committee will make.”


Reporter


“Sir gives us your perspective when you heard the Auditor General say that 25%of the work she has done that is what is represented in these three Audits and that the other 75% is still sitting on her desk?”


Senator Eamon Courtney - Opposition Representative


“I don’t want to prejudge anything but it seems to me that that is a clear indication that we may have a little bit more of the tip of the iceberg but there is an iceberg down there and the committee report and the committee investigation will leads to wherever it leads but I don’t want to speculate on what is there but she will be here we will be asking her the questions and she will indicate to us what she meant by that.”


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