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Finance Administration Amendment Act will ensure good governance

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Contact: Darnley Lebourne


Monday, February 21, 2011 The passage of the Finance Administration Amendment Act during the February 15th, 2011 session of Parliament ushered in a new paradigm with respect to the management of public funds and the practice of Good Governance in Saint Lucia. It is common practice in Saint Lucia that recommendations made to Governments stemming from Commissions of Enquiry and other investigative exercises are left to gather “dust on shelves” with little attention. The Ramsahoye Commission of Enquiry which was commissioned by the current Government in January 2009 to investigate a number of matters related to the conduct of the St Lucia Labour Party Government while in office during the period 1997 to 2006.


The scope of the enquiry addressed matters related to the operations of RDP 001 and 002, operations of the National Conservation Authority between the period April 2000 to December 2004, financial transactions between the Government of Saint Lucia and the Royal Merchant Bank of Trinidad & Tobago in relation to the payment of debts owed to Frenwell Limited.


These investigations were also to determine whether there were losses incurred by the Government of Saint Lucia and whether there were breaches to the civil and/or criminal law among other concerns.

Saint Lucians within and outside of our nation followed with great interest the proceedings of the Ramsahoye Commission of Enquiry and looked forward to its findings and recommendations. The Commission’s Report contained a very damning account of the conduct of the former Administration under the stewardship of Dr. Kenny D. Anthony as former Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and summed up the entire debacle related to the matters which were investigated as Maladministration.


The government is committed to implementing some of the major recommendations contained in the Ramsahoye Commission of Enquiry Report. Based on the Amendment to the Finance Administration Act passed on February 15th, 2011. The Minister of Finance would now be obligated to seek the approval of Parliament for guarantees to be given by the Government of Saint Lucia. This would be done through the submission of a resolution with full details of the amount guaranteed and the object and reasons for the giving the guarantee in question.


The passage of the Finance Administration Amendment Act of 2011 will provide the Saint Lucian public with assurances that what is popularly referred to as the “Rochamel Scandal” would not reoccur within the process of Government transactions being undertaken by the political directorate. The Finance Administration Amendment Act is a measure instituted by the current Administration to ensure that the principles of good governance and responsible management of our nation’s finances are maintained at all times.

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