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Montserrat, a mess at the head

Ignorance is no excuse to the law, Governor

Governor Press conference May 2015

l-r pr conf May 22 - B R, Nerissa Golden, James White, Richard Aspinby Bennette Roach

May 22, 2015 – After continuing to maintain that he only knows in his capacity as chairman of Cabinet what is brought to Cabinet, which in relation to the Montserrat Development Corporation (MDC) were matters relating to land, Governor Adrian Davis says, “I don’t know what should have come to cabinet, only what comes to Cabinet. The only things that I of my own cognizance bring to cabinet is about the public service and appointments with it, financial services and anything to do with defense.”

After saying earlier in a response regarding £400 million DFID spend in Montserrat over 20 years in the recent UK Daily Mail article, “…Value and results for taxpayers’ money are at the heart of everything we (he as Governor of Montserrat) do, and all our programmes are closely scrutinised to ensure they are effective,” he then says: “It would not be appropriate for me to be involved in economic policy as stuff comes to cabinet. I have a voice in the formulation of that economic policy and have an opinion which I give. It is up to the government to decide what it wants to do.”

Gov Davis Gov press conf Mar 4 DSC_3988

HE Governor Adrian Davis

 

He noted again, “M.D.C. is a wholly owned company of the government of Montserrat of which government Cabinet is the sole shareholder,” following which I reminded: “The cabinet is the supreme body of the elected people.”

Ivan Browne speaking at Government House

Ivan Browne speaking at Government House

When asked whether he should have known about the MDC CEO, “Doesn’t it concern you that anyone (working) in Montserrat leaves this country receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars and did not pay a penny of tax?” he responded, “Well I’m glad you don’t accuse me of having a Swiss bank account, but I did not know the details of the previous C.E.O.’s pay package.”

 

Most of the foregoing came after he was asked. “what really is your role in Montserrat as Governor? Other than the constitutional roles whereby you are in charge of the defense and the public sector…where you sit as chairman, president of the cabinet and there are things that a Cabinet ought to do, or not do which you seem to know nothing about?”

His initial response, maintaining his status quot, “I know everything that Cabinet does.”

He was asked to address his response to the whole M.D.C. situation.

Governor press conference Kato

Dr. Kimbugwe speaking at a Governor press conference

 

The Governor who does claim to have oversight in Cabinet, continues to maintain, “I don’t know what should have come to cabinet. What comes to Cabinet, what should have come to cabinet is something that the previous government and the new government should have brought if they felt necessary.”

The further question is, this and other things were done under his watch, “Governor, what are you going to do about it, even now?”

Weakness in responsibilities

After listening to H E Governor Davis botch his explanation and contradicting his responsibilities as Governor to the people of Montserrat and the UK government, Martin Dawson the UK Department For International Development (DFID)’s local representative contradicts also his own role in particular with regards to the MDC (Montserrat Development Corporation.

In the meantime, both Governor Davis and DFID Dawson, both representing the UK Government and when convenient Montserrat, continue to maintain as one of the reasons if not the main one for the closure of the MDC, the absence of proper legislation, even claiming: “The M.D.C. was set up under the Companies Act – with Bylaws; it should have been set up under the M.D.C. Act of 2008 with its own legislation.”

“You just mentioned a while ago something about oversight, so one of the concerns, take for example the whole problem with spending at MDC and so on, a DFID member was always on board,” he was reminded. Dawson then went on to describe his role. “The role of the DFID representative on the MDC board was as observer status, so …was put there as an observer,” he said which contradicts the construction of the MDC board where he serves as a full member.

“I respond or I report directly to the deputy director of DFID’s overseas territories department, so he (Kimbugwe) would have also been required to do the same,” he continued.

He was asked about the July 2014 Annual MDC Review by DFID which was published with selective specific boast of the MDC achievements by the CEO. Both Dawson and the Governor said that the report was to be considered as non-existent as it was never approved.

The DFID rep explains: “I mean yeah, that report wasn’t approved. Obviously the process of the annual review that took place last summer involved a number of team members from the M.D.C. including the C.E.O. so that we would have had a draft of the report as it was still in draft that time prior in July; it was not approved because of concerns that were then raised in August September – then obviously the thought, well that annual review seems to have some other issues here. So formally it does not exist it’s not been approved by DFID as an annual review of the M.D.C.”

.That he said, with Governor adding, “…just to confirm, when the CEO released part of that report he did so actually against DFID’s wishes…we did not agree or it was not agreed that he should release that report.”

At that point, I raised the issue of the CEO’s favoured package. “But he still left Montserrat as a darling and a golden boy as against others who have been disenfranchised who were eventually terminated. People who did no wrong and people who in fact, and I want you to comment on that, both of you, who in fact did ‘good’ (work) for Montserrat and through the MDC, they were disenfranchised in different ways.”

The Governor responded, dodging whether it was a question or mere comment, after they were both specifically asked for comment:” I think it would not be appropriate for either Martin or I to answer that question if it is a question, sounds more of a comment. Well, because as we all know there is at least one set of proceedings going through the courts and anything we may or may not say in relation to that could be used and therefore it would be entirely inappropriate for us to make any comments.”

The Governor had threatened at a recent press conference, that he would be careful about answering questions if at all, because I asked, litigious questions. His response raised the comment, “That was an expected answer!”

 

 

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Ignorance is no excuse to the law, Governor

Governor Press conference May 2015

l-r pr conf May 22 - B R, Nerissa Golden, James White, Richard Aspinby Bennette Roach

May 22, 2015 – After continuing to maintain that he only knows in his capacity as chairman of Cabinet what is brought to Cabinet, which in relation to the Montserrat Development Corporation (MDC) were matters relating to land, Governor Adrian Davis says, “I don’t know what should have come to cabinet, only what comes to Cabinet. The only things that I of my own cognizance bring to cabinet is about the public service and appointments with it, financial services and anything to do with defense.”

After saying earlier in a response regarding £400 million DFID spend in Montserrat over 20 years in the recent UK Daily Mail article, “…Value and results for taxpayers’ money are at the heart of everything we (he as Governor of Montserrat) do, and all our programmes are closely scrutinised to ensure they are effective,” he then says: “It would not be appropriate for me to be involved in economic policy as stuff comes to cabinet. I have a voice in the formulation of that economic policy and have an opinion which I give. It is up to the government to decide what it wants to do.”

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Gov Davis Gov press conf Mar 4 DSC_3988

HE Governor Adrian Davis

 

He noted again, “M.D.C. is a wholly owned company of the government of Montserrat of which government Cabinet is the sole shareholder,” following which I reminded: “The cabinet is the supreme body of the elected people.”

Ivan Browne speaking at Government House

Ivan Browne speaking at Government House

When asked whether he should have known about the MDC CEO, “Doesn’t it concern you that anyone (working) in Montserrat leaves this country receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars and did not pay a penny of tax?” he responded, “Well I’m glad you don’t accuse me of having a Swiss bank account, but I did not know the details of the previous C.E.O.’s pay package.”

 

Most of the foregoing came after he was asked. “what really is your role in Montserrat as Governor? Other than the constitutional roles whereby you are in charge of the defense and the public sector…where you sit as chairman, president of the cabinet and there are things that a Cabinet ought to do, or not do which you seem to know nothing about?”

His initial response, maintaining his status quot, “I know everything that Cabinet does.”

He was asked to address his response to the whole M.D.C. situation.

Governor press conference Kato

Dr. Kimbugwe speaking at a Governor press conference

 

The Governor who does claim to have oversight in Cabinet, continues to maintain, “I don’t know what should have come to cabinet. What comes to Cabinet, what should have come to cabinet is something that the previous government and the new government should have brought if they felt necessary.”

The further question is, this and other things were done under his watch, “Governor, what are you going to do about it, even now?”

Weakness in responsibilities

After listening to H E Governor Davis botch his explanation and contradicting his responsibilities as Governor to the people of Montserrat and the UK government, Martin Dawson the UK Department For International Development (DFID)’s local representative contradicts also his own role in particular with regards to the MDC (Montserrat Development Corporation.

In the meantime, both Governor Davis and DFID Dawson, both representing the UK Government and when convenient Montserrat, continue to maintain as one of the reasons if not the main one for the closure of the MDC, the absence of proper legislation, even claiming: “The M.D.C. was set up under the Companies Act – with Bylaws; it should have been set up under the M.D.C. Act of 2008 with its own legislation.”

“You just mentioned a while ago something about oversight, so one of the concerns, take for example the whole problem with spending at MDC and so on, a DFID member was always on board,” he was reminded. Dawson then went on to describe his role. “The role of the DFID representative on the MDC board was as observer status, so …was put there as an observer,” he said which contradicts the construction of the MDC board where he serves as a full member.

“I respond or I report directly to the deputy director of DFID’s overseas territories department, so he (Kimbugwe) would have also been required to do the same,” he continued.

He was asked about the July 2014 Annual MDC Review by DFID which was published with selective specific boast of the MDC achievements by the CEO. Both Dawson and the Governor said that the report was to be considered as non-existent as it was never approved.

The DFID rep explains: “I mean yeah, that report wasn’t approved. Obviously the process of the annual review that took place last summer involved a number of team members from the M.D.C. including the C.E.O. so that we would have had a draft of the report as it was still in draft that time prior in July; it was not approved because of concerns that were then raised in August September – then obviously the thought, well that annual review seems to have some other issues here. So formally it does not exist it’s not been approved by DFID as an annual review of the M.D.C.”

.That he said, with Governor adding, “…just to confirm, when the CEO released part of that report he did so actually against DFID’s wishes…we did not agree or it was not agreed that he should release that report.”

At that point, I raised the issue of the CEO’s favoured package. “But he still left Montserrat as a darling and a golden boy as against others who have been disenfranchised who were eventually terminated. People who did no wrong and people who in fact, and I want you to comment on that, both of you, who in fact did ‘good’ (work) for Montserrat and through the MDC, they were disenfranchised in different ways.”

The Governor responded, dodging whether it was a question or mere comment, after they were both specifically asked for comment:” I think it would not be appropriate for either Martin or I to answer that question if it is a question, sounds more of a comment. Well, because as we all know there is at least one set of proceedings going through the courts and anything we may or may not say in relation to that could be used and therefore it would be entirely inappropriate for us to make any comments.”

The Governor had threatened at a recent press conference, that he would be careful about answering questions if at all, because I asked, litigious questions. His response raised the comment, “That was an expected answer!”