The Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute (TTTI) is urging Finance Minister Colm Imbert to adapt a different stance to his predecessor, Larry Howai, and immediately release information relating to CL Financial’s financial statements and creditors, as ordered by Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh since 22 July 2015.
The Transparency Institute reiterated its appeal of 7 August 2015, which was ignored by Howai, and “requests the new Minister of Finance to forgo any appeal procedure in order to expedite the Court’s ruling and to advance citizens’ rights under the Freedom of Information Act.”
The following is the Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute’s release of 7 August 2015, which urged the then Finance Minister, Howai, to release the relevant information to the public, as ordered by Justice Boodoosingh:
Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute (TTTI) notes that on the 22nd July 2015, Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh ruled that the Minister of Finance and the Economy is obliged to provide information relating to CL Financial’s financial statements, its creditors and a briefing presentation to the Parliament. The ruling followed denial of requests for information made by citizen Afra Raymond under the Freedom of Information Act.
The Court noted that “the object of the Act is to make information freely accessible to the public with a view to promoting transparency and accountability in the decision making of public authorities.”
The cloud that hangs over this $25 billion dollar bailout with taxpayers’ monies must be removed. Release of the information now ordered by the Court will go a long way towards demonstrating the Government’s commitment to transparency and accountability.
The Public’s right to know how public money is used must be given utmost priority and TTTI therefore calls on the Minister of Finance and the Economy to respect the Court’s ruling and provide the information requested on CL Financial without any further delay.