Agnes Francis on SLTB finances: “It is bad!”

Agnes Francis on SLTB finances: “It is bad!”

Agnes Francis, the Chairperson of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB), has disclosed that the finances of the body are in bad shape and there is need to “stem the bleed.”

“I have no intention of being political – it is not my role; the minister is the politician; I am the technocrat; but as we speak, every time we think we have a handle on the finances it gets worse,” Francis told a news conference on Friday.

She disclosed that every day invoices come in that officials are not aware of.

Agnes Francis said as a result, it is difficult to determine what the financial status of the SLTB is at the moment.

“All I can say is that it is bad,” she declared.

Francis said:

“It is difficult to get a handle on it.”

She explained that the audit continues because every day something new surfaces.

The SLTB is in the process of transitioning to a Tourism Authority.

There have been concerns about the future of workers there but Agnes Francis disclosed that no one has  yet been terminated.

However she indicated that staff will be given priority for jobs in the new Tourism Authority.

The Saint Lucia Civil Service Association (CSA) has said that some 28 of its members employed by the SLTB will be given their marching orders.

“We have followed the procedures under the labour code and  basically the steps require that we inform the Labour Commissioner and inform the union and this is all that has happened so far,” the STLB official told Friday’s news conference.

She said the draft legislation for the Tourism Authority is already complete and was submitted to  Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet and  Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Dominic Fedee, for review.

“The thinking is that the legislation should be model legislation for all statutory organizations so this is taking a little longer,” Francis stated.

However she said the quicker it can happen the less impact it will have on the finances of this country.

 

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5 Comments

  1. Pacifist
    December 19, 2016 at 12:37 pm Reply

    I have no knowledge what political leaning, if any, is Mrs Francis but the position told by the lady is a picture current in many operations around the island. As a society we must face the reality of the situation and not make inflamatory remarks to further damage the already fragile economy.pacifis
    People let us stop and desist from pointing fingers towards each other. Constructive engagement with others … friend and foe….. must be the only way forward. I so bescheech

  2. Amazed
    December 19, 2016 at 1:20 pm Reply

    I have an issue with the statements made by Mrs Francis because the Sltb operated in the same manner as to when Allen was minister for tourism. The hypocrisy of it all is what I find tasteless. People on FB who are loyal to the present government shoot off their mouth when they have little knowledge of what obtained over the years. When I hear the Sltb is in trouble I beg to ask the question what was the situation when it 2011 the Sltb was left with a debt of 14m dollars with 7m owing to American Airlines. We speak of exorbitant costs as it relates to artistes payments for Jazz and I hear the amount of 14m being bandied around but wasn’t paying USD:250,000 Amy Winehouse a waste of money when the then minister was advised not to by senior management who thought that she was not going to give a proper performance and in their wisdom decided to place Kassam as the headliner instead. We need to stop this convenient memory lapses we bring to the fore when it is politically expedient. This is just the tip of the iceberg to justify sending the staff home. However this too shall pass. Let God be praised because He is in control contrary to what we think. Praise God Almighty!!!

  3. Anonymous
    December 19, 2016 at 1:44 pm Reply

    Hey I want a job in the tourism authority where do I apply??!

  4. Anonymous
    December 19, 2016 at 6:52 pm Reply

    apply to the fish market. Hi hi

  5. dammed
    December 19, 2016 at 9:32 pm Reply

    Agnes you have become Allen puppet. You will regret this. You have said that you know what he is doing is wrong and insane. He said no jazz then you run afterwards to say that there will be jazz. Agnes stand up now because you will end up the biggest loser.

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