Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves called the Boom Radio Morning Show last week, to refute allegations of corruption raised recently by Leader of the Opposition Dr. Godwin Friday.
The PM told Host Dwight ‘Bing’Joseph, “I am tired of explaining this over and over.
Friday is suppose to be an experienced lawyer, but he speaks foolishness says Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves while responding to the Leader of the Opposition recent questioning of the International Airport Development Company’ (IADC) accounts.
The PM said for all his years in Parliament Friday should know that accounts for companies are not presented to Parliament but presented to The Commercial and Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) which was set up as a companies registry.
“If it is a statutory body like for instance the CWSA, the accounts for 2015 is already presented to the house and 2016 shortly”.
Gonsalves said every company in St Vincent whether owned by the private or public sector, the companies act mandates, that accounts be presented and reports from shareholders among other things are requirements.
He further stated that the information which the opposition is seeking in relation to the IADC can be obtained at the CIPO, and that he had made the point in Parliament already in the case of IADC, that the 2014 accounts are available while the 2015 and 2016 are being prepared.
Gonsalves said one of the reasons why they have asked Dr Rudy Mathias and the Financial Comptroller to stay on a few months more, is to make sure that the auditors could ask them any question in relation to the documentation presented in relation to the auditing of the accounts, and for them to supply to me (Prime Minister) with what I call a completion report”.
When asked by Joseph, the radio host if he would present the audited statement in Parliament, Gonsalves said under law he would not be allowed to do so, however, the Opposition will be able to obtained copies at the CIPO, when pressed further by the host whether or not the Opposition can debate the findings in Parliament, Gonsalves said; “of course they can.
They can, in any debate of relevance, including at the time of the estimates or the budget debate”.
Host Bing further asked Gonsalves from a moral standpoint if it is wrong, since it is the people’s business.
Gonsalves in his response said that Vinlec since 1973 has been a state own company, they have never presented any report to Parliament but Vinlec accounts are audited and so too for the then National Commercial Bank (NCB) now the Bank of SVG (BOSVG).
“No accounts have ever been presented to Parliament since it was set up under the Labour Party, the same applied for 17 years of the New Democratic Party (NDP) and also my [Unity Labour Party] Government.
However, they are submitted to the Central Bank and published as required by the law”, Gonsalves told the radio host.