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Former minister Browne: Farrell’s resignation instructive

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The resignation of Dr Terrence Farrell as chairman of the Economic Development Advisory Board (EDAB) continued to generate debate yesterday, as Former Minister in the Ministry of Finance Mariano Browne said Farrell’s resignation sent a signal concerning decision making for the country, as well as Dr Hamid Ghany, director of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) at the UWI who said the resignation was based on Farrell’s professional standards which he wanted to maintain.

Farrell had tendered his resignation on Wednesday after being appointed chairman of the board in October 2015.

Speaking in an interview after a conference held at SALISES auditorium at the UWI, St Augustine which focused on the IMF’s Article IV consultations on T&T, Browne said that Farrell’s resignation is significant because, “it sends a signal, particularly, the reasons he gave. In other words, we are not making decisions and if we have made decisions, we are not implementing them. There must be something that we can learn from all of this, in terms of what we are doing moving forward.”

Critical of the Government, he said what was expected after Farrell resigned, was a “statement of intent highlighting where we are going, what we are doing, how we are addressing the situation.”

Browne questioned now that there is no statement of intent, “what are we (the citizens) to assume?” Brown predicted that it is now the end of the EDAB.

Overall, Browne said that commentators in T&T are not being listened to by the Government.

He suggested Finance Minister Colm Imbert’s role is to make changes in the way the systems run and not to gain favourites.

Ghany who also spoke in an interview, said Farrell had “reputational” issues attached to his resignation since he was leading the EDAB that was making recommendations, but the recommendations were either taking too long to be implemented or not implemented at all.

“Dr Farrell had some reputational issues attached to his resignation that he was leading an economic development advisory board that was making certain recommendations to the Government. He was not satisfied that their policy advice was being heeded, and therefore, rather than him continuing to make contradictory statements with the Government in the public domain, I think he decided that it would be better for him to get out of the way. Also, the issue of reputational risks to him personally, with him being associated with something that was not happening, I think he had to get out of the way.”

Mariano Browne
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