BELMOPAN, Fri. Jan. 17, 2020– For almost two years, Belize has been without a Contractor General, although government has given out scores of millions of dollars in contracts. It is safe to conclude that those contracts were given without going through the proper vetting process, given the absence of a Contractor General.
This morning, at the first meeting of the House of Representatives for the New Year, Prime Minister Dean Barrow tabled a motion for the appointment of Omar Mitchell as Contractor General.
Mitchell’s appointment was approved by the Governor General and took place at the same time that the government amended the Contractor General Act, which will enable the Contractor General to be appointed in the public service after his term ends.
Contractor General Mitchell succeeds Godwin Arzu, whose contract was not renewed, reportedly because he had failed to deliver reports in a timely manner.
In presenting the motion for the appointment of the Contractor General, PM Barrow told the House, “Mr. Speaker, this is the appointment of the Contractor General motion 2020. I move whereas Section 3.2 of the Contractor General Act Chapter 6 of the Laws of Belize Revised Edition 2011, provides that the Contractor General be appointed by the Governor General, acting on the recommendation of both Houses of the National Assembly contained in resolutions passed in that behalf, and whereas Mr. Omar Mitchell is suitably qualified to be appointed as Contractor General and fulfills requirements contained in the Contractor General Act, now therefore be it resolved that this Honorable House, being satisfied that Mr. Omar Mitchell is a fit and proper person to be appointed as Contractor General, recommend to the Governor General that Mr. Mitchell be appointed as Contractor General for a period of three years with effect from 3rd February 2020. This motion has recommendation of the Cabinet.”
It is noticed, however, that Mitchell’s contract comes after all the multimillion-dollar contracts have been given out.