Senate Confusion About Caracol Contract
There was a whole lot to say about the soundness of a contract that the Senate Wants him to review. That is for Phase Two of the Caracol Road paving from Blancaneux Lodge to Caracol. There was some dispute about the phasing of the project:..
Mark Lizarraga- Senator
"But when we look at all these documents I have been having the greatest of difficulty reconciling one with the next because there is no consistency in the plan, there is no consistency in the numbers, there is no consistency in the descriptions. In this document that Dr. Barnett sent to us it said section 1 was for 18 kilometers, section 2 was for 24, and it gave descriptions of where it was. When you add up the two sections they are talking about 34.6 kilometers. But I see that the terms, in fact, have changed. Contrary to the law of the land, we have not been provided with the documents that we should be provided for all of these contracts for over $5 million. And now you question why we have the gall. The leader of government business has challenged us to open up and stand up and talk out when we see things are wrong well this is what we do here. And this is what we do here today. But please, man, how many hundreds of millions, how many billions of dollars have been spent and we don't know. That's my point. Please, you have to see the outrage that one feels as a parliamentarian when one cannot answer as to what it is we are doing with the people's money."
Dr. Carla Barnett- Senator
"I did circulate early last year what was the feasibility study. That was done...can I finish sir? Feasibility study with the design...can I please finish without interruption? Are you suggesting I will not tell the truth? Please sir, you cannot do that."
"Dr. Barnett, one second. If you are addressing a matter, address it to the chair."
Dr. Carla Barnett- Senator
"The way it works, when a feasibility study is done, it is then passed on to decision makers who are a separate part of engineers and in this case its the project execution unit that oversees this and then they determine what the final solution will be. So exactly what you see in a feasibility study is not necessarily what you see in the final document. I have worked on many many projects. And a feasibility study is an input into the final decision making."
Michel Chebat - Senator
"And so, the question Mr. President, is what happened to that first $20 million US dollars that we have approved, that was approved since March, Mr. President. Where is the accounting for these funds? Where is the report on what has been done with those funds. Is this the less transparency that the Attorney General earlier referred to? You see Mr. President, we come here time and time again and we are asked to approve motions for additional funds, yet there is no accounting to the people of Belize as to where these funds are going and how these funds are being used."
Godwin Hulse- Senator
"My understanding is the first phase is ongoing, the second phase to commence. The coactive fund that put the $20 million US required that all the money for the entire project be in place before they dispersed any money on that phase."