Picardo Can’t be Trusted on Reform, Letter to the Chief Minister

By 4th May 2022 No Comments

Mr Picardo’s administration simply cannot be trusted to deliver on an agenda of cracking down on waste or abuse or to deliver governance reforms, accountability or transparency. They cannot be trusted to deliver because they have flip-flopped on reforms and made empty promises. They are now the problem and obstacle to proper reform.

What is disgraceful is Mr Picardo’s desperate attempt to cover his Government’s tracks. That will be transparent to everyone. It beggars belief that Mr Picardo should have the gall to seek to point fingers at the GSD. His administration has awarded contracts to persons close to his Government including entities related to family members of Ministers and persons politically close to him. His administration awarded a tender to a company said to be the highest bidder in a process that had closed two years before the company even existed. His Government has awarded contracts to a company in which the Chief Minister has an indirect beneficial interest. He has made systematic promises of reform and of meetings of committees that are set up and never meet. That has been the case with the parliamentary reform process where promise after promise has been made. These promises now ring completely hollow. Many of the GSLP manifesto commitments have been breached. It is under his watch that hundreds of millions of pounds of the people’s money are not properly accounted for. All these are reasons why his Government is now the problem and not the cure.

He presides over an administration where there are conflicts of interest left, right and centre and where the truth is buried. There have been big failures in standards, transparency and accountability. His narrative that he is the great reformer and things have never been better is just a hollow fiction built on false premises and promises.

Leader of the Opposition, Keith Azopardi said: “We stand by the assertion that there needs to be a systems overhaul to attack waste abuse and corruption and that the GSLP aren’t the ones to do it.

As usual when we hit a raw nerve the Government’s knee-jerk reaction is to say it is a disservice to Gibraltar to talk about it. But people see through that self-serving protestation. We won’t shut up because the truth is inconvenient. This is a Government that is now so adept at spin that it cannot be believed and that regularly resorts to spin and outright lies.

There are many reasons that show why his Government is now the problem and not the cure. That is why the GSD will not agree to bury the issues into yet another committee that doesn’t meet so that reform is held back.”

Letter to the Chief Minister

It is simply not true that Mr Azopardi and Mr Clinton “did not show up at a meeting [to discuss reform] and sent a letter afterward.” Mr Picardo had the GSD response to his invitation before the time he had suggested for the meeting. In fact, he had also seen it as is clear from the electronic transmission receipt. In this and as always Mr Picardo gets overtaken by his own enthusiasm to make cheap points and resorts to lies to make them because the truth is less attractive than his fictional story. Mr Picardo knows full well why we refuse to be taken in by his false agenda of promises on reform. Our letter to him of 20 April is attached to this PR. In our letter I invited him to respond with clear proposals. Predictably we have not had a response and still less proposals.

Download the letter from the Leader of the Opposition to the Chief Minister: