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Oct 8, 2015

PM Blames P.A.C. Stagnation on Opposition

Dean Barrow

We’re not sure what that means where the fate of the Integrity Commission is concerned under this administration. As to PAC, well…that’s not going to happen, a fact for which the PM, interestingly, blames the Opposition.

 

Reporter

“If that is the situation, does that mean that you will not have an Integrity Commission since no one seems to want to take up that position. And you fought for getting the Integrity Commission established in law because it is so essential to our government, but yet it is being left sort of hanging because we cannot get someone there. Secondly, the Public Accounts Committee is an absolutely essential, accountable part of our governments, yet that is allowed to linger in the background.”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“No sir, that is not allowed to linger because sir, the Public Accounts Committee is set up under law and under the standing orders. It is not functioning because the Opposition refuses to participate.”

 

Reporter

“But I thought the Opposition, according to the way it was set up, was to be the chair…”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“It is the chair and they refused to call meetings….”

 

Reporter

“So why do you think it is necessary to change it?”

 

Kay Menzies

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Nobody is changing it; that’s the point. Man, please check your facts. That’s just it. We are saying it is not necessary to change it, but the Opposition and social partners have said, they would want to see the composition expanded. The way it is, is the way it is provided for under the law, under the standing orders with the Opposition as chair. They are saying that unless you expand it and unless you—not only make us the chair—you ensure that together with the social partners we are the majority of the committee, we will frustrate its functioning. That’s on them; not on us.”

 

Kay Menzies, Representative, Private Sector

“The Chamber has been very vocal about the Public Accounts Committee. The point for us is that it is a major factor in the checks and balances of our government in terms of fiscal responsibility. As far as we are concerned, we need to see it get going and we would like to see the social partners involved.”

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