There is something that the lawyer’s call similar fact evidence. Similar fact evidence is a departure from the rule that previous consistent behaviour or statements are inadmissible as evidence of the truth of present behavior or statements. Normally previous activity is thought to be more prejudicial than probative.
The Courts will allow the similar fact evidence though where there is a pattern which is so similar that it begs the question of whether or not it is predictor of the present situation. The Auditor General’s report on the National Sports Authority presented to the House of Assembly on Wednesday 3rd April 2019 finds itself before the court of public opinion. The question before the court is whether or not the Auditor General’s report is credible.
We argue that the report is not credible. We say that the PLP has a right to object to it. We say that Danny Johnson, the former Minister for Sports, had a right to tell them to kiss his ass. We say the report is not worth the paper it is written on.
We argue that we have seen this script before. The Auditor General wrote a report on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which was replete with errors and assertions which proved to be false and incorrect. To be charitable let’s use the word misstatement instead. We all remember the report on the work of the Urban Renewal Commission during the PLP’s last administration. That too was replete with errors, misstatements and assertions that proved to be false. Those are the similar facts. The pattern of behaviour is so compelling that it puts the objective reader and certainly any PLP on inquiry that the fix is in.
Then add to that the alarming headlines about money missing and systems not in place and records not found; the Deputy Prime Minister promising a forensic audit( more jobs for his FNM accountant friends); the Prime Minister turning it over to the police and well you know the drill. This is all of the making of FNM propaganda.
We suggest the following: the PLP has the control of the public accounts committee and so should grab the report and discredit it with their own investigation. Further, we think that the PLP should announce that it will not cooperate with any investigation on this matter because we think that it will not be fair, independent or impartial.
Finally our view is that there needs to be a new Auditor General. Unfortunately, he can only be removed for cause. However, there is enough evidence to be found of negligence in these reports to justify looking elsewhere for the direction of this department.
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