Gov’t refutes staged questions allegation during Budget Estimates

− MPs had an interest in how money was spent -Minister Teixeira

Government on Monday denied that it was putting up its own Members of Parliament to ask questions about the Budget estimates in the National Assembly.  

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, the Hon. Gail Teixeira said accusations from Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Joseph Harmon were untrue.

On the APNU+AFC Facebook page, Mr. Harmon said that while dealing with matters in the National Assembly concerning the Estimates and Expenditure for 2020, the PPP Members of Parliament chose to ask their own Minister questions which they felt would embarrass the past administration.

However, Minister Teixeira refuted this while noting that any MP could raise questions during a budget debate

“This is about transparency and accountability. This is money from January to July that was spent without parliamentary cover because there was no Budget,” Minister Teixeira said.  

She explained that January to July represented what was spent, August to September was based on projections, and that October to December were requests. Minister Teixeira asserted, “I don’t need to devise a strategy for my MPs. MPs had an interest to know how monies were used.”   

On another matter relating to the naming of a contracted employee at the then Ministry of the Presidency, Minister Teixeira said contrary to the accusation, she did not identify the individual. 

“First of all, I never called anybody’s name. Under the particular estimate that we were looking at, I was asked a question and I said that amount of money covered a person that was receiving US$6000 per month. That was true, I did not name the person and I don’t know where Mr. Harmon takes the liberty of naming the person,” Minister Teixeira said.

She added that any record of Parliament debate would show she did not name any contracted worker.  

Further, she clarified that the said contracted employee’s’ salary (US$6800.00) in total, was paid directly from the Ministry of the Presidency (Office of the President) budget and not from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which was partly funding the work of the Project Management Office as stated by the Opposition Leader.