(Updated) Underwood: Cabinet not transparent on BOAD

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The absence of an update on the controversial agreement between the Central Marketing Corporation (CMC) and members of BOAD Aggregate Inc at this week’s Cabinet press briefing has resulted in a call for transparency from the opposition.
United Progressive Party (UPP) Spokesperson on Industry & Commerce Joan Underwood has insisted that Cabinet members cannot be reluctant to release information on issues that are already in the public domain.
“It is apparent to us at this point in time that the Cabinet press briefings are being sanitised either intentionally or otherwise to conceal deals,” Underwood said.
“In this particular instance, we see the deal in question as one which is beneficial to someone who is related to someone in parliament.”
At Thursday’s post-Cabinet press briefing, the government’s Chief of Staff Lionel “Max” Hurst sought to explain why certain controversial decisions are omitted from the Cabinet notes that he circulates. Hurst said the sugar and rice monopoly business proposal between the private entity and the Central Marketing Corporation (CMC) was “not an important decision”.
 “In the case of the BOAD, it was considered a routine decision. There are many routine decisions made by the cabinet, I mean hundreds of decisions are made when the Cabinet convenes,” Hurst said.
“We simply cannot do that … it would really not be practical; so what we do is highlight the most important decisions.”
Underwood condemned Hurst’s explanation, stating that it was worrisome and she asked: “How many other times have they deliberated on the issue and it failed to reach the press briefing?”
She added, “It raises several questions and a high level of anxiety in terms of what else might have been concealed by our Cabinet as they come to us in what is purported to be a high level of transparency.”
See PDF files here and here.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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