NAMCO’s lack of transparency is a concern to Christian, who believes failure to present audited accounts is against the law
Former banker Everett Christian remains concerned about the National Asset Management Company’s continued lack of accountability.
The company, better known as NAMCO, was set up by the Browne Administration as a holding company for profits earned by other entities in which the Government and people have a share.
However, since its coming into being, very little about the entity has been made public – particularly its finances. No audited accounts have been presented to the Parliament, to date, in spite of calls by concerned citizens and members of the Opposition parties.
This state of affairs is the cause of Christian’s concern.
NAMCO simply creates another layer of bureaucracy, Christian points out – since, previously, profits from the various entities could be transferred directly to the Consolidated Fund.
Meanwhile, he says that, by law, the company should produce audited financial statements, and these should be submitted to the Minister responsible for NAMCO to be laid before the Parliament.
He adds that the people of Antigua and Barbuda should have access to these financial records, which would shed some light on the status of the funds NAMCO receives.
Christian believes, therefore, that the Administration is in breach of the Finance Administration Act – not just with regard to NAMCO, but to several of the statutory organizations.
Meanwhile – like United Progressive Party Political Leader Harold Lovell – Christian is rubbishing claims by Prime Minister Gaston Browne that there would be significant job losses if the company were to be suspended, audited and dissolved, as the UPP has promised to do, if elected.