Despite his public apology to the nation and the National Assembly, Public Health Minister, Dr. George Norton will still find himself facing the Parliamentary Privileges Committee over his statements to the National Assembly about the controversial rental of a bond for the storage of medical supplies.
Speaker Dr. Barton Scotland on Monday announced that a sufficient case had been made out for Norton to appear before the parliamentary disciplinary committee.
The motion to send Norton to the Privileges Committee had been put forward by Opposition point man on Health, Dr. Frank Anthony.
It accuses Norton of misinforming the National Assembly about the rental of the bond for the storage of government drugs and its suitability in keeping with international standards.
Norton was grilled on the bond rental back in August as the government sought approval of over $30 million for the rental of the Sussex Street facility which had been recently purchased by a company known as Linden Holdings which was headed by People’s National Congress member, Larry Singh.
The Opposition, PPP, had questioned why the need for a storage facility had not gone to public tendering rather than be sole sourced.
Norton could provide few answers at the time, but defended the move.
As public and political criticism mounted, even from within the government, Norton was forced to apologise to the nation then issue a written and verbal apology to the National Assembly.
He claimed that he was not aware of all the details of the bond deal.
The Government then set up a cabinet sub-committee to look into the contract and that committee eventually recommended several changes, including the cost and period of rental. Additionally, the government also described the rental situation as an “undesirable” one.
The Privileges Committee is made up of nine members. The government has the majority with five members with the Opposition taking up the other four seats on the committee. The Speaker is the Chairman of the Committee.