Lee wants decisions of former Government evaluated

PHILIPSBURG–Reappointed minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour VSA Emil Lee says he is “not comfortable” with some of the recent decisions made by the former government and wants these to be evaluated.  

The minister told reporters at the new government’s first Council of Minister’s press briefing on Wednesday that it is his intention, in the next few days, to discuss recent decisions made by the former government, which “I am personally not comfortable with.”

He said the decisions should be examined to determine whether they were “in the best interest of country…. I believe that these are decisions that the (new) Council of Ministers should examine and evaluate whether they are really in the best interest of the country.”

Lee said the practise of outgoing governments to make certain decisions “need to stop” as it is “not good for the people.”

When asked to give examples of the decisions to which he refers, Lee said while discussions in the Council are confidential, in general terms, some of his concerns have to do with spending. “As ministers we are managers. We are responsible for spending the people’s money effectively, wisely and judiciously, so if invoices for services come in and they are not well substantiated and don’t leave possibilities to be checked for validity, it leaves possibility for heavily inflated prices and consequences and the country can be spending too much money.”

He said also that some of the selections processes, where government had contracted the services of third parties, should be examined whether there was favouritism in the process and whether the best service provider for the best price had been selected or whether persons who had been politically aligned had been chosen. “I have seen terms of references that are much too vague so that leaves government without the ability to manage that effectively.”

He said vague and poorly defined terms of references can lead to government being unable to terminate or penalise a provider if they fail to perform effectively. “So there are some question marks on whether decisions were taken legally correct.”

He reiterated sentiments that he had expressed earlier that since the vote of no confidence in the former government, the atmosphere in Council of Ministers meetings had not been a pleasant one for him. He described his experiences as being uncomfortable and challenging.

Lee said following the first Council of Ministers meeting amongst the members of the new cabinet, he is now “very optimistic” about the environment and the ambiance as the meeting had been positive and energetic. 

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/72823-lee-wants-decisions-of-former-government-evaluated