Government Unwilling to Openly Provide Information when Requested

Government Unwilling to Openly Provide Information when Requested

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Government Unwilling to Openly Provide Information when Requested

The GSD Opposition notes, with concern, the Government’s unwillingness to provide the elected Opposition with information sought in Parliament. During the latest session, Selwyn Figueras, Opposition Spokesman for the Environment, requested details of the budget set by the Government for the construction of the Commonwealth Park and the Government said that it had the figure available but that it would not divulge it.

The Chief Minister claimed that the contract for the works had not yet been awarded, yet works began only a few days later, and that announcing the figure might affect the tender process in relation to it. When pressed by Mr Figueras about the fact that the Chief Minister had proudly announced a few weeks earlier that the project was proceeding ahead of schedule and ‘under budget’, the Chief Minister said that he would, eventually, show Mr Figueras the figures the GSLP/Libs had written down as the budget, AFTER construction concludes.

The Opposition does not consider it satisfactory that the Government should resist publication of information it has, despite having had a number of requests for it over the last ten months, without reasonable grounds to withhold it. “The Government is playing games and withholding information which the community is entitled to have. The Chief Minister is developing a very bad habit of making statements he then is neither able to substantiate nor is willing to withdraw.” The GSD Spokesman went on to suggest that: “It’s more than just a little bit ridiculous to suggest that a Government project is under budget, publicly, when he is then only prepared to release the figure he says is what they thought the Commonwealth Park would cost AFTER its completion.”

“Could it be,” surmised the Opposition member, “that torn between their desire to be all things to all men and their fraud on the electorate, which was their position on the public finances, a fraud which is fast unravelling before the electorate’s eyes, the Government is embarrassed to publish the kind of information which will only reinforce what many have believed and are starting to see has always been the case? That this Government says and pretends to be one thing and then does, and is, quite another?”

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