- Last Updated on 19 March 2012
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The recent revelations concerning Social Security and the growing Beacon Heights scandal demand an urgent and independent investigation. Social Security monies are the peoples monies and those entrusted with the management and control of such monies must at all times be held to the highest standards of probity.
The allegations now swirling of conflicts of interest, of Social Security Board personnel also being involved with Contec (the company charged with executing the Beacon Heights project), of poor oversight and management of the project and of wanton expenditure of over $70 million of the peoples money, demand urgent attention.
Sadly, the majority of the Board of Social Security reflects a veritable who's who of political appointees. From the Chairman on down, one can readily identify individuals who's only calling card for managing the most critical institution of this country is their support of Labour in St.
Kitts or NRP in Nevis. Some are people who have never hitherto managed as much as a lemonade stand but yet they are charged with managing hundreds of millions of dollars of the peoples monies.
I am afraid that this Beacon Heights affair evidences a deeper malaise where we continue in our country to put square pegs in round holes and expect performance. The current Chairman of Social Security has an unenviable record of failure at all levels and yet this Labour Government keeps foisting him on us, shuffling him from one public institution to the next. His qualification it seems is no more than his reputed close friendship with the Prime Minister.
I demand an urgent and independent investigation into this emerging scandal and that new criteria are immediately crafted for Board membership of this the Nation's premier public institution.
Having seen the collapse of Clico and Baico for lack of effective oversight by regional Governments costing our people hundreds of millions in hard earned savings, let us not sit idly by and allow Social Security to be decimated by poor management, political cronyism and corruption.
I renew my call and the call of the Opposition for the immediate tabling of Integrity in Public Life legislation which has thus far been stymied by Government manoeuvring and manipulation of the Parliamentary process.
Perhaps now, more than ever, the Public sees the critical need for integrity to become the watchword for all public institutions and those appointed to serve on such institutions.
Leader of the Opposition