As the new government reads its first budget TTTI reiterates the urgent need to deal with outstanding legislation that will benefit every Trinidad and Tobago citizen and have a positive impact on the public purse.
Priority must be given to the full proclamation of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Property Act. The Office of the Procurement Regulator is already successfully established, and the vast majority of state agencies are ready to operate under the new legislation. The Government must move swiftly to operationalise this long outstanding Act. Modern public procurement legislation is a fundamental requirement if our country is to promote good governance and eradicate corruption. A fully operational Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Property Act will be a useful asset towards ensuring accountability in expenditure, building trust and confidence at all levels of society, and encourage investment from local and foreign sources. All of these benefits are now more crucial than ever to maximise due to the economic and social challenges arising from the current Covid-19 pandemic.
A key outstanding matter is Whistleblower legislation. The Bill did not receive the full support of the House of Representatives when it was laid before Parliament in 2019. We call for the reintroduction of the Bill to Parliament and for both Houses to expedite the passage of this long outstanding piece of legislation.
Another critical matter is Campaign Finance Legislation. The Representation of the People (Amendment) Act was placed before a Joint Select Committee months before the General Election. The proroguing of Parliament however means this process must be started anew. TTTI calls for the Government to move with haste and implement Campaign Finance Legislation before the next Local Government Elections.
TTTI looks forward to these matters receiving priority and attention from the new Parliament.