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New Financial Secretary clears the air on an Appropriation Bill at his first sitting in LegAss

fs-colin-owen-dsc_6497He was selected and announced, almost shrouded with controversy, but he came announced and uncelebrated. The Hon. Colin Owen is the Montserrat’s new Financial Secretary who having accepted the new position took up his position in Montserrat arriving around the middle of August, with over six years of service in the St. Helena Finance service.

St. Helena is another British Overseas Territory with a population of around 4,500 and as the new FS says, has in comparison with Montserrat has many similaries and differences. He sat with TMR Editor Bennette Roach in a brief exclusive interview which will be released early next week and reported in our next issue.

He reported after ten days in office that he found in the short time capable and good workers and was comfortable in the job, having come fresh being the Financial Secretary for the past few years. He said about his role is to carry out the policies of the Ministers of Government whether he “likes those policies or not.”

In the recent Legislative Assembly there arose a debate over government’s decision to initiate a special policy which will involve the the recruitment of a Youth and Sports Development Coordinator.

The Financial Secretary assured the recruitment will have to follow the government’s procurement rules (a matter that has been the source of problems for some years) . Mr. Colin Owen says the government would also have to comply with the financial regulations when making the appointment.

Funding for the new position within the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports was being discussed and arose of an Appropriation bill before the Assembly. Members of the opposition expressed concern that the government may bypass the procurement rules to appoint a sitting parliamentary secretary to the position. It was then the FS noted, “…we are looking for an appropriation – any expansion that follows on the back of this will have to be legal. I have to follow the procurement of all financial rules, because that’s what we do in government and that’s my role and my job to ensure that happens as well.

He added that this was the AG’s job as well. “So what we’re asking here is an appropriation, how then that is spent is a different matter, but it would need to be done within the rules and regulations that we have,” he advised.

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fs-colin-owen-dsc_6497He was selected and announced, almost shrouded with controversy, but he came announced and uncelebrated. The Hon. Colin Owen is the Montserrat’s new Financial Secretary who having accepted the new position took up his position in Montserrat arriving around the middle of August, with over six years of service in the St. Helena Finance service.

St. Helena is another British Overseas Territory with a population of around 4,500 and as the new FS says, has in comparison with Montserrat has many similaries and differences. He sat with TMR Editor Bennette Roach in a brief exclusive interview which will be released early next week and reported in our next issue.

He reported after ten days in office that he found in the short time capable and good workers and was comfortable in the job, having come fresh being the Financial Secretary for the past few years. He said about his role is to carry out the policies of the Ministers of Government whether he “likes those policies or not.”

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In the recent Legislative Assembly there arose a debate over government’s decision to initiate a special policy which will involve the the recruitment of a Youth and Sports Development Coordinator.

The Financial Secretary assured the recruitment will have to follow the government’s procurement rules (a matter that has been the source of problems for some years) . Mr. Colin Owen says the government would also have to comply with the financial regulations when making the appointment.

Funding for the new position within the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports was being discussed and arose of an Appropriation bill before the Assembly. Members of the opposition expressed concern that the government may bypass the procurement rules to appoint a sitting parliamentary secretary to the position. It was then the FS noted, “…we are looking for an appropriation – any expansion that follows on the back of this will have to be legal. I have to follow the procurement of all financial rules, because that’s what we do in government and that’s my role and my job to ensure that happens as well.

He added that this was the AG’s job as well. “So what we’re asking here is an appropriation, how then that is spent is a different matter, but it would need to be done within the rules and regulations that we have,” he advised.