Parliamentary Representatives under the New National Party (NNP) led administration wants their election deposit monies owed to them by the Parliamentary Elections Office.
This was gleaned by THE NEW TODAY newspaper from information coming out of a meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance on July 19, presided over by Deputy Chairman, Oliver Joseph.
The report shows that Parliamentary Representatives for St George North-East, Tobias Clement, St George South-East, Gregory Bowen and St Patrick West, Anthony Boatswain sought explanation on the non-refund of their $300.00 deposits to contest the February 19 poll as candidates
According to the report, MP Clement was the first to raise the issue.
It said: “Honourable Tobias Clement raised the question of the three hundred dollars ($300.00) deposited for election purposes which was never given back to him. He noted that he got beaten around the bushes and was then told that the time had passed when he later inquired. Honourable Bowen expressed the same”.
“The Chairman responded that Members met the condition to receive their deposit and therefore, monies must be repaid. He also mentioned that the concern was not so much getting back the money but the principle involved”, the report added.
MP Boatswain, the current Minister of Education also inquired about his refund and the need for someone to take responsibility.
“Honourable Anthony Boatswain inquired whether the three hundred dollars ($300.00) refund for Members who won their seats at the last Elections, was a matter for the Parliamentary Elections Office. He stated that the Office told them that they could not give them the refund, but somebody should take responsibility for the refund,” the report said
“The Parliamentary Secretary, Finance, stated that he sent an email to the Accountant General to take the matter up with him. He informed Members that the monies were deposited to the Treasury, so once there was certification from the Supervisor of Elections that Members had met the criterion, then the Ministry of Finance would do the follow up”, it added.
The committee also addressed the issue of outstanding payment for the re-opening of Parliament in March, 2013 and the Swearing in of the new Governor-General as well as the non-payment of Government Ministers who worked from July 1-8 2008.
“The Chairman advised that the Accounting Division of the Ministry of Finance correct(ed) the problem with the non-payment of Government Ministers who worked from the 1st to the 8th July 2008, noting that it was not sending a good message.
He also mentioned that if persons received monies for days they did not work then that money should be taken back.
Said the report: “Mr. Antoine apologised for not having taken action sooner. He noted that he would request of the Accountant General to remedy the issue, and that payments be made no later than August 2013.
“Honourable Tobias Clement questioned whether Government Ministers in the last Administration received salary from the 1st to the 28th February, 2013. Mr. Antoine replied that he would get to the bottom of this issue.
“Honourable Clifton Paul stated that there had not been any payments for the busmen for the reopening of Parliament in March, 2013 and the Swearing in of the new Governor-General in April, 2013.
“The Chairman advised members to forward the total amounts for the individual areas for each event, to the Clerk, and a decision would be made for payments,” the report said.
During the tenure of the last Congress government, then Opposition Leader and current Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell had made demands for salaries due to him for the first eight days of July 2008 leading up to the elections be paid to him.