BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Feb. 15, 2018– It has been widely speculated that the contracts for the current Contractor General and Ombudsman would not be renewed for the new year.
However, today in an exclusive interview with Amandala, Prime Minister Dean Barrow set the record straight. He said that Lionel Arzu, who was first appointed to the Office of the Ombudsman in January 2013, will sign a new contract for another year.
According to PM Barrow, his re-appointment will be raised in the next House of Representatives meeting, scheduled for March 9, two days after the municipal elections.
When asked why there was a significant delay in renewing Arzu’s contract, Barrow said that he did not know when the contract had expired. He suggested that it may have simply fallen through the cracks.
As for Godwin Arzu, who was first appointed as Contractor General in 2009, his contract will not be renewed.
PM Barrow recounted that last December a motion to re-appoint Arzu was withdrawn from the Senate after the majority of Senators argued that he had not satisfied a key requirement for his office – the preparation of annual reports.
Barrow explained that the motion was withdrawn in hopes that Arzu would have prepared the reports, and so it would have been re-introduced after he did so. However, he has not done so.
“I don’t think it is fair to have to wait any longer,” Barrow said. He told our newspaper that he would embark on the process to appoint a new Contractor General.