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Sunday May 08
13 minutes ago
Roy McTaggart, Leader of Opposition
Roy McTaggart, Leader of the Opposition, has issued a statement welcoming the release of the Deputy Governor’s Statement on the Office of the Auditor General’s findings on the Dubai World Expo and the Cayman Islands Overseas Offices. In summary, the Deputy Governor concluded that, following his own internal investigation, there was no breach of the Constitution or the Public Management and Finance Act (the PMFA) in connection with spending related to the Dubai World Expo and the Cayman Islands Overseas Offices. McTaggart indicated his agreement with the Deputy Governor’s position and noted that the Auditor General was wrong in her conclusions about the previously alleged breaches.
The previously alleged breaches, which caused some controversy among members of the public after being leaked publicly, were as follows:
There was no, or at least insufficient, existing budget provision at the time staff contracts for both projects were entered in to, and so a breach of section 7(3) of the PSMA and by extension section 55 (1) (d) of the Constitution occurred.The Government breached section 12(2) of the PMFA as the Government requires Parliamentary approval (via the Finance Committee) prior to any expenditure being incurred. The use of funding was not in compliance with the PMFA because the basis for the request for funding under section 11(5) did not meet the definition of an ‘exceptional circumstance’ as defined in section 2 of the PMFA. Also, the request for funding under section 12 did not get the approval of the Finance committee before expenditures were incurred or commitments were entered into.
Regarding these alleged breaches, McTaggart explained that he had previously expressed his concerns for their accuracy.
I have said before, including in my public statement in February, that in our view, the Auditor General was gravely mistaken in several areas of the report. Today’s statement by the Deputy Governor confirms this. The Deputy Governor said categorically, “there was no breach of section 12 of the PMFA or the Constitution.
McTaggart went on to say that it was “unfortunate that the report, with its inaccuracies, was unlawfully leaked.” He emphasised that “the consequence of the leak was to have the reputation of hard-working civil servants tarnished by the serious, albeit inaccurate, allegations levelled in the report.”
He further indicated that the Opposition party had been tarnished by the allegations.
A further consequence of the leak was to have some in the media wrongly accuse members of the Progressives Government of wrongdoing. Indeed, the Statement from the Deputy Governor refers to the views that were aired publicly as being skewed and inaccurate. I am pleased that these inaccuracies are now being corrected.
It was also noted by McTaggart that His Excellency The Governor had also highlighted his “disappointment with the leak and the shameful repercussions caused in the aftermath.” Regarding this, McTaggart said that he trusts that His Excellency The Governor and the Deputy Governor “will also work to complete an inquiry into how the document was leaked and who leaked it and take appropriate action.”
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