Premier Fahie gave that indication in the House of Assembly this week while following up on an official request for the government to publicise those Cabinet decisions made between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
Fahie said while he expects to ratify and make those outstanding Cabinet decision documents available in the shortest possible time, “it (the process of getting those documents ready) has been interrupted by the Commission of Inquiry”; hence, them not being released previously.
The COI was officially commissioned in January 2021
During last Thursday’s sitting of the House of Assembly, Opposition Leader Marlon Penn had asked the Premier to provide the decisions for all Cabinet meetings held between March 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.
Premier Fahie responded saying all Cabinet decisions for 2020 were already made public. He retracted this response days later and asked that it be struck from the record in the HOA.
According to the Premier, a news release about the subject matter was issued on February 10. In that release, Cabinet said the interruption in publicising its decisions was primarily due to the significant increase in the number of Cabinet meetings held in 2020 to urgently provide a strategic response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is important to note that the procedures for the confirmation of Cabinet minutes were developed for non-crisis conditions,” Premier Fahie told the HOA.
He further said that even though the Cabinet decisions were not publicised in the traditional way, they were made public as part of his government’s COVID-19 updates.
The Premier said, had already identified human resource support and had been making good progress. However, their work was further halted due to latest COVID-19 spike.
And although he said work has since resumed on making the decisions public, he was unable to provide a projected date when those decisions during this period will be available.
Publication of the Cabinet decisions resumed from February 7, 2021, less than one month after the COI was called.