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Nov 10, 2017

Why Government Can’t Agree to “Public” Accounts Committee Meetings

Patrick Faber

One of the contentions raised by Espat and echoed by the social partners is that Public Accounts Committee meetings should be held in public as the name suggests. But Patrick Faber contends that there are pitfalls to such a plan – namely worries that some will cherry-pick what is said and use it against the Government. But ventilating the issues in closed-door allows for a more coherent response in the House and outside. He also told reporters that the Committee will initiate more regular contact with the Audit office beyond the released reports.

 

Patrick Faber, Member, Public Accounts Committee

“The Public Accounts Committee, according to the Standing Orders of the House, should meet privately. Now, there are occasions when the Standing Orders allow for a decision by the Committee to have public hearings. We believe firmly in the support of this Committee for the Auditor General’s work; and whenever the Auditor General makes a report it comes to the Public Accounts Committee. Yesterday, in fact, in our discussions on the role of the Auditor General, we really got down to the nitty-gritty and we agreed that in fact there can be more regular contact between the Auditor General and the Public Accounts Committee even when matters may not be tabled in the House by the Prime Minister, because something has been sent from the Auditor General to the P.M. This closer relationship, though, and looking at the figures of the Government, keeping the Government on track, does not always bode well to be public. Because of course you see how things are: people pick up things – they may have part of the story; they have little bits and pieces and then it is blown out of proportion and taken the wrong way. We’d prefer to meet in the confines of the Committee Room of the House and then later, once we have discussed what has transpired and we get the views of experts, including the Auditor General and the Accountant General and others who are very intricately concerned with the work that is being done, then the matter is taken back to the House where we can talk about it, we can debate about it; we can then give interviews, we can do whatever kind of exposure that needs to happen.”

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1 Response for “Why Government Can’t Agree to “Public” Accounts Committee Meetings”

  1. Hatari says:

    GOB just doesn’t what us to know how they waste our money and abuse our and our trust.

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