NTCUB President says several laws need to be enacted now to satisfy UNCAC
Belize and the rest of the United Nations’ members are marking World Anti-Corruption Day today. It was on this day in 2016 that Belize finally acceded to the United Nations Anti-Corruption Convention (UNCAC). It was after the trade unions – particularly the Belize National Teachers’ Union – went on strike and forced the Barrow administration to sign on. But within the six years since, there has been little to no movement in the legislative framework for the convention to be fully realised. President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, Luis Luke Martinez says that not only is this disappointing and ridiculous, but that the Government needs to enact several pieces of legislation now to respond to and completely eliminate corruption.
Luis Luke Martinez, President, NTUCB: “We talk about the assets recovery, assets disposal, illicit enrichment, we need to talk about the strengthening of the Integrity Commission. We need to talk about the strengthening of the Finance and Audit Act and why the Finance and Audit Act is showing its head again. When the unions were fighting for good governance leading up to 2007 the unions fought hard and the government eventually tabled and enacted the Finance and Audit Act. Now where is the loophole with the Finance and Audit Act ? Fast forward to the Smart BTL saga where the opposition took the government to court on that decision, recall ? The National Trade Union Congress joined as an interested party and the National Trade Union Congress’s point was that look the government failed to abide by the Finance and Audit Act and we were able to prove that. Justice Young agreed with the National Trade Union Congress that there was a breach of the Finance and Audit Act. You know what’s the sad thing about it ? She also said that the Finance and Audit Act doesn’t have any remedy. So that needs to be addressed. That needs to be addressed. Campaign financing has to be addressed. So there’s a lot of legislation that we need to do to strengthen the legal framework of our country and to address corruption in this country.”