Dominica’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Dr. Vince Henderson has revealed that government will soon make public the amount of money that has been earned under the much talked about Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Program.
Additionally, he stated that programs which benefitted from the CBI will become public knowledge.
“Soon the government will publish some of the information ….,” he stated on Kairi’s Heng Program recently. “We will be making public the programs that have benefited under the CBI, how much money is being collected, do a proper audit of how many passports have been issued, where that money has gone to. I am sure that some of us who are even doubtful about the program would be shocked to know that we have been on the receiving end, we have been beneficiaries of the program.”
There have been calls from some quarters to make the CBI a bit more transparent and answers have been sought, especially from the opposition United Workers Party, as it relates to the number of passports sold and the amount of money earned under the program.
But according to Henderson, Leader of the Opposition, Lennox Linton has the constitutional and legal authority to call the financial secretary of the Citizenship By Investment Unit (CBIU) for an account on those matters.
“The leader of the opposition has the authority, constitutional authority, legal authority to call the financial secretary, the head of the CBIU, to account for those things and to ensure that they can know how many passports that are being issued, how much money is collected and how the money is being spent. So that can be done easily,” he explained.
Calls have also been made to have a Freedom of Information Act in Dominica in order to get more information on the CBI program.
But Henderson said all information about the program is gazetted and is public information, so a Freedom of Information Act, at least in the CBI case, is not necessary.
“So the call for Freedom of Information Act, this is absolute nonsense because there are ways in the laws of Dominica that can allow someone to get that information,” he stated. “I am not saying that Freedom of Information Act is not good but for that purpose, it is not necessary to get the kind of information to determine whether the program is being run properly.”