The following statement was issued by Senator Fred Mitchell, the Opposition’s spokesman on Foreign Affairs responding to reports from the Auditor General on the finances of the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs:
Statement by Senator Fred Mitchell
Opposition Spokesman on Foreign Affairs
On Tribune’s Report On Audit of Foreign Affairs posts
14 September 2017
For Immediate Release
I am laughing my head off at the nonsense and the preoccupation with matters that are de minimus in the larger scheme of the issues we face, looking for dirt where none is to be found and in the process sullying the names of good people. Where for example is the report by your paper of the PLP’s policy statement on Hurricane Irma…The matters in the Auditor General’s report are all matters for the technical officers to explain. Ministers don’t approve overtime for drivers or bills for events. When I actually read what your report said, it is clear that the headline is completely misleading.
Assuming, for example, that the figure is correct, overtime of 46k over three years, the Auditor General will have to show why that is even worthy of note.
My advice to date is that there is no legal impropriety on the part of the driver or the Ambassador or anyone else for that matter. I am advised also that all of these matters in the report were put to the Permanent Secretary who has now decamped to the United Nations in a new job, prior to her leaving for New York . It is for her to explain and the present minister. I am advised also that there were answers provided by her to the satisfaction of the Auditor General.
I would suggest to you also that the Auditor General’s report is simply a snap shot of what he saw on the day he visited and matters could easily have been explained and resolved afterwards. I would appreciate your paper dealing with our substantive policy issues, however.