Sorry seems to be the hardest word for the Central Bank (and for everyone else!)

4th February, 2010

The scandal regarding the waste of public money in the Central Bank should have been seen as an opportunity, not a PR problem. The disgusting profligacy that was unearthed in institutions like FAS and by other wasters were not accompanied by anything like an apology. Rather, every trick in the book was used to come up with excuses and “explanations” that were laughably transparent. The fact that only fear of exposure led to the Central Bank admitting the use of taxpayers funds to bring spouses on foreign trips is bad enough. That it is hiding behind the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act- or rather the lack of them- to withhold details of those trips is worse. That it has yet to say one simple word – the word in question being “sorry”- is really very depressing indeed.

It is also rather galling to see the Bank attempt to distract attention from its activities by criticising the C&AG for an administrative error. The fact that the spouses went on separate trips rather than one mega-junket doesn’t really lessen the offence.

But it’s not too late. The Central Bank has a new Governor and, hopefully, a new ethos. Perhaps they will yet rise to challenge and issue an apology. I wait more in hope than in expectation.