Sunday, March 7, 2021

Novo Banco documents in Parliament are almost all confidential

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António Pedro Santos / Lusa

The President of Novo Banco, António Ramalho, spoke during his hearing at the Budget and Finance Committee.

Approximately 90% of the documents that members of the Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry (CPI) to Novo Banco have to consult have the seal of “confidential”. The revelation is made by the president of the CPI, Fernando Negrão. This circumstance causes limitations to the performance of the deputies.

CPI to Novo Banco received “18,447 files classified as confidential and 2379 files with unlimited access ”, reveals Deputy Duarte Pacheco, coordinator of the PSD bench in the referred committee, to Público.

CPI President Fernando Negrão confirms to the same newspaper that “about 90%” of the documents have the seal of “confidential”.

“The documents arrive, can be read, but there is no public debate“, Deputy Mariana Mortágua, coordinator of the Bloco de Esquerda (BE) at CPI, refers to the same daily, stressing that“ it is the debate that allows public scrutiny ”.

So, the performance of deputies is limited, especially in open door meetings, where sources cannot be cited in inquiries. Mortágua regrets that, in this way, doubts remain to be clarified with the personalities heard at CPI.

Only accredited deputies can read documents digitally and are obliged to “Duty of secrecy”.

“Members can use the information without restrictions if the meeting is held behind closed doors, or without making any explicit reference to you if the meeting takes place at the open door ”, notes Duarte Pacheco to Público.

The PSD deputy says that “the advantage of the documents being public is that there can be more people analyze such a large amount of information“.

And Fernando Negrão admits that “the fact that they are covered by bank secrecy, or another, may, perhaps, condition the way some questions will be asked at the hearings ”.

On the other hand, deputy João Paulo Correia, PS coordinator at CPI, sees no limitations in procedures. “Members can freely raise questions related to confidential documentation behind closed doors at meetings and information is public in the report, relevant in the conclusions of the survey ”, considers in that newspaper.

Negrão also emphasizes that “the content of these documents will never be omitted, since it will be used in the questions and will appear in the final report, although without revealing its origin ”.

CPI’s work with Novo Banco is suspended until February 17th due to the pandemic. This suspension is expected to delay the departure of the conclusions of the parliamentary inquiry to May.

ZAP ZAP //

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Novo Banco documents in Parliament are almost all confidential