St. John’s Antigua- Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer has disclosed that an investigative review conducted into the administration and operations of the Central Board of Health (CBH) one year ago is under review by government.
But the prime minister has remained mum on a number of questions which surfaced in the report pointing to discrepancies and questionable conduct at the government institution.
The investigative review into the administration and operations of the CBH obtained by OBSERVER Media this week made several recommendations for how the body can fall in line with the country’s laws.
Spencer told OBSERVER Media because the document was not made public by government, “This is why I wouldn’t want to speak to it necessarily because of the way this whole thing developed.
“It is still, in my view, an internal matter and I wouldn’t want to respond specifically to it.”
When asked whether he intended to deal with some of the concerns raised in the report, the country’s leader responded, “I don’t want to indicate whatever approach the government will adopt on this matter.”
Pressed as to whether any form of action will be taken, Spencer indicated that the report was in fact submitted and is now “under review.”
One of the main findings of the report presented to government on July 15, 2011 was a disclosure that the health body had been operating outside the laws of the country.
Asked to respond to that finding, the Antigua & Barbuda leader said, “I don’t want to get into that aspect of it but the reality is from the time I know myself, this is how the Central Board of Health has been operating.”
The review was conducted over an eight-week period last year by a five-member team headed by former civil servant Ivor Ford.
Ford’s review panel was given 11 terms of reference, among them; to ascertain whether there are adequate and acceptable regulations and corresponding procedures in place with respect to contracts between CBH and private contractors.
The report found that there was not – and also made recommendations for disciplinary action to be taken against Chief Health Inspector Lionel Michael and another senior officer at the CBH.
Michael has so far refused to grant OBSERVER Media an interview on the matter.