Jeffrey Richardson: Our Incoming Government must be transparent to the people

I listened carefully to the Council of Ministers Press Briefing on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 and draw my conclusion that our Honorable Prime Minister Sarah Wescott Williams during the last 20 months of the DP/UP/Illidge coalition was not properly informed of what her Cabinet was busy with.


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I listened to both the Honorable Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister regarding the state of affairs after the new ministers of the N.A. were included with the current Government and I draw my conclusion that our Prime Minister is not fully aware of the direction our country is headed in because of her former Ministers not bringing her up to speed with the state of affairs of their Ministry. I realized the above because the press briefing was basically dominated by the Honorable Deputy Prime Minister who has just been appointed as our new Minister of VROMI. Deputy Prime Minister William Marlin basically was outlining most of the state of affairs which I felt should have been done by Prime Minister Wescott-Williams since she was also the Prime Minister of the outgoing coalition and as the chairperson of the Council of Ministers should have been informed of all decisions within each Ministry.

We have always spoken about transparency in Government and this should not be just a cliché because it sounds positive in the ears of our people but it should be the way we handle the business of our people.

We should stop using expressions that sounds good but we should learn to show integrity amongst our elected officials. According to me the Ministers that have continued with the incoming coalition, namely the Prime Minister, the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs and the Minister of Justice should have been able to give a general outline of what the current affairs of this Government is. We just had the National Ordinance established on Monday to appoint the substitutes for the different Ministers which means that the ministers that were substitutes of the outgoing Ministers should have a basic idea of the status of those Ministries. We the people should hold these Ministers accountable for whatever procedures were followed during the period they were placed as a caretaker Government. However it seems that the Council of Ministers Meetings doesn’t make any sense since it looks as if every Minister does not function as if they are responsible to inform the Council of Ministers of decisions taken within their Ministry. We hope that it would not be business as usual with the current Government which is supported by a NA/DP/I3 coalition.

We will give this Government the benefit of the doubt but the incoming Ministers must ensure that transparency becomes the norm of the day and that this word be used in its right context.

Deputy Prime Minister William Marlin’s famous expression in the past when he first entered politics was: "THE PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW". I am therefore admonishing this Government to keep the people informed regularly about the plans and execution of plans of Government so that people would have an idea about where this Government is taking its people. The Government accord is called "working for the people". But I would like to just add two words to that accord which should have been: "Working for the people with transparency" because the people want to know.

Jeffrey Richardson