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Letter of the Day | Talk isn't cheap, Mr Shaw

Published:Tuesday | July 11, 2017 | 12:00 AM


It is outrageous that the minister of finance, under the 'prosperity' JLP-led Government, racked up a phone bill of $8 million within a one-year period! The minister's excuse (according to Nationwide News) is that he wasn't aware, and that the excessive charges were because of mobile data roaming.

Many of us, at some point, experienced extraordinary mobile bill charges, and learnt quickly how to manage our mobile services, especially when travelling to foreign countries. Even if he didn't know, there must've been someone within his circle to warn about the high cost of roaming for voice and data services and advise on the use of Wi-Fi and other options to lower costs.

A few years ago, Junior Minister Arnaldo Brown, in the Simpson Miller administration, racked up charges of more than a $1-million, there was national outrage, especially from the then Opposition. The opposition spokesman at the time, Dr Andrew Wheatley, expressed alarm over these charges, saying it was "another example of poor governance and misplaced priorities of the Simpson Miller administration", despite the availability of modern communication platforms and services.

We are fortunate to have the Access to Information Act, which must be used to force politicians to be more accountable and responsible. How can $8 million in phone charges not be spotted in a review of government finances and expenditures?