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Gov't seeks to regulate its fund and asset managers

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Monday, January 10, 2005 - Government has sought to regulate the operations of companies that manage its funds and assets through a bill passed in Parliament late last year.

The Government Corporations Bill seeks to ensure that organizations charged with overseeing government property and associated financial resources are accountable to Government for these assets.

Leader of Government Business, Honourable Mario Michel said while some Government Corporations are regulated by the Act which created them, some including the Soufriere Regional Development Foundation, Radio St. Lucia, Computer Center Ltd, World Cup St. Lucia, among others are not: “These are all Government Corporations which manage government funds or government property, but they are not specifically regulated by any existing legislation. And it was thought important Mr. Speaker, to bring them under some kind of legislative control, legislative regulation”.

Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Kenny Anthony said government agreed to the decentralization of control, allowing these corporations to operate independently, but he pointed out that they must be made accountable for the Crown assets they supervise.

Using the case of the Soufriere Regional Development Foundation, a local company charged with managing the Sulphur Springs, the Prime Minister said, “While the government conceded that, it never introduced adequate mechanisms to ensure that the Foundation itself was answerable to the public interest, that is to say, to the Parliament of St. Lucia for the scrutiny of its activities, as well as for the funds it has earned over the years.”

The Bill also gives the Minister of Finance the power to add or remove from the list, companies treated by the bill as Government Corporations.


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