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Fri 1st Feb 2019

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SVG Green Party Open Letter to Chairman of LIAT Board

Dear Sir/ Madam,

Re: Disclosure of LIAT Annual Financial Statements 2008 to 2018

Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (hons), MSc, MBA, Leader of SVG Green Party, is making a very strong call on the Chairman of LIAT to disclose LIAT’s Annual Financial Statements for 2008 to 2018 to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). Please can you make these Annual Financial Statements available to the SVG public for inspection in public places in SVG, such as the in the library or Commerce and Intellectual Property Office / Companies House.

The ULP regime has put millions of SVG taxpayers’ money in to LIAT, but the SVG people are given no indication of how efficiently SVG taxpayers’ money is being spent. SVG is not the private estate of the ULP regime and SVG taxpayers have a right to know how and where taxpayers’ money is being spent.

Millions of SVG taxpayers’ money has been repeatedly pumped in to LIAT and the cost to SVG taxpayers’ of LIAT’s continual failure to operate as a going concern is particularly high. It is therefore crucial that LIAT shows the highest standards of governance, accountability, transparency and financial management, and does this by making its Annual Financial Statements available to the SVG public for inspection and scrutiny.

Too often LIAT is falling short of these standards. The disclosure of LIAT’s Annual Financial Statements to the SVG public for scrutiny would be a welcome step forward in improving LIAT’s transparency and accountability.

If SVG taxpayers are to be given a proper chance to hold LIAT to account, it is vital they have timely access to transparent and detailed information regarding LIAT’s Annual Financial Statements. LIAT must be judged against the standards expected of other institutions funded by SVG taxpayers’ money, and indeed, should in fact be jointly audited by the SVG Director of Audit, as it is public money.

A new, proactive strategy is needed to safeguard SVG taxpayers’ money given to LIAT.

The cost of LIAT’s constant failure to be a going concern is hugely damaging for the people and economy of SVG. SVG taxpayers’ money going to LIAT is money not going into SVG schools and infrastructure.

Millions of SVG taxpayers’ money has been wasted on LIAT and we see no real improvement.
There are concerns too about excessive directors and senior management salaries, even though they are clearly incompetent as LIAT is always being bailed out financially and not operating as a going concern.

LIAT is not providing the basic level of accountability that SVG taxpayers are entitled to. It is unacceptable that LIAT should fail persistently, yet still be able to receive and spend SVG public money. SVG taxpayers have a right to transparency and to see how their money is being spent by LIAT. LIAT should meet this most basic obligation.

Chucking SVG taxpayers’ money into the ‘black hole’ that is LIAT is not good value for money and is short-sighted, unacceptable and immoral.

Taxpayers are intelligent people and, given the opportunity to have an insight in to LIAT’s Annual Financial Statements, could offer valuable advice and new alternatives that can stimulate LIAT to be a going concern. More importantly, as we live in a new age of accountability and transparency, LIAT should disclose its Annual Financial Statements to SVG taxpayers as a good corporate citizen.

The Leader of SVG Green Party Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (hons), MSc, MBA, who is a graduate in Accounting and Finance and Economics from Oxford Brookes University, England, requests on behalf of the people of SVG, that LIAT disclose its Annual Financial Statements for 2008 to 2018 to the people of SVG, and make them available for inspection and scrutiny in public places in SVG.

Yours faithfully

Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (hons), MSc, MBA.

CC: His Excellency the Governor General of SVG
Cabinet Secretary SVG
Prime Minister of Antigua
Prime Minister of Barbados
Prime Minister of Dominica
Prime Minister of Grenada

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