The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI) is calling on all parliamentary representatives to leave political grandstanding out of the negotiations of the AML/CFT Bill.
The Chamber notes with deep disappointment the position adopted by A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) to withdraw and not allow outside observers to the Parliamentary Select Committee debates concerning the amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering of Financing Terrorism (AML/CFT).
The Private Sector Commission is the second civil society stakeholder, after the media, to have been refused access to the Committee’s meetings.
It is the GCCI’s view that the issues to be deliberated on the AML/CFT Bill do not constitute sensitive information that would require secrecy by the Committee. Moreover, during meetings with both government and the APNU, the lament from both sides was to cast blame on the other for not attending meetings or adhering to appropriate procedures of the Select Committee. At those meetings, the private sector delegation received assurances from all parliamentary parties that they would welcome public screenings and observations of the Select Committee deliberations on the said Bill. It is therefore surprising, and discouraging, that the APNU has deviated from this position.
The GCCI believes that public access to parliamentary committees is an important part of government transparency and is hopeful that the APNU would rethink its position and re-engage in the deliberations and allow for a vote on public access by the Committee members.
The AML/CFT Bill is too important to our nation’s economy and development to have partisan and petty political tactics and grandstanding affect its consideration, augmentation and eventual passage.