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Nov 1, 2019

PAC Chairman Says Government There is Foot-dragging in Finalizing Report

Julius Espat

The Public Accounts Committee, as an oversight body tasked with ensuring that there is transparency and accountability in the expenditure of government funds, has hit a bump in the road, following the submission of the Chairman’s report over a year ago.  That’s because the relevant parties, including Prime Minister Dean Barrow to whom the report was presented, are yet to formally respond to the findings in the document.  According to Cayo South Area Representative Julius Espat, who chairs the taskforce, notwithstanding the accuracy of the report which draws from a previous review submitted by Auditor General Dorothy Bradley, it remains to be finalized.  That’s because there is reportedly deliberate foot dragging in returning comment on the findings contained within the twenty-page document.

 

Julius Espat, Chairman, Public Accounts Committee

“There is a chairman’s report that we had submitted to the members of PAC in September of last year, over a year ago and looking at your report in the news last night, it is that report.  I just need to clarify that that’s not the official report, that’s the report that committee members of PAC had requested that the chairman submit and it was submitted over a year ago and no response has been given back from them.  But it is a factual report, meaning all the information that is there is based on the interviews that were done and the recommendations were based on that.  And so, it is a factual report but it’s not the official report.  Everything that is in that report is not a secret.  It is based on the Auditor General’s report that was made public since it was tabled in the house and so the recommendations that you highlighted last night are structural recommendations which I think is healthy for democracy.  What I believe is shameful is that you have four members of the government side sitting on the Public Accounts Committee, three of them vying for leadership of their party that have sat on a report that has to do with public expenditure and have done absolutely nothing over a year to even give a commentary or a recommendation on their part.”


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