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Aug 12, 2013

Senator argues for the PAC

Mark Lizarraga

One motion which never made it past the House floor and wasn’t up for debate at the Senate meeting today was on the Public Accounts Committee. The Opposition tabled a motion at last week’s Special House Sitting to change the composition of that committee to give the majority vote to civil society. As it stands, the P.U.P.’s Julius Espat is the chair of the PAC and he tabled the motion. Prime Minister Dean Barrow skewered the motion on technical grounds, but also claimed that the concept was misguided because in every democracy the majority has the rule. Today, Private Sector Senator, Mark Lizarraga, told us that the motion on the PAC wasn’t about governance and rule…it was about oversight and accountability.


Mark Lizarraga – Senator, Private Sector

“Certainly the Executive ahs a task to govern and we are not denying that that responsibility lies with the executive. But we are not talking about governance here. We are talking about oversight. And certainly if you look at the intent of the constitution and the intent of oversight, it means that you can’t be totally in charge of looking at your own actions. There are other bodies that were set up under the constitution to give a check and balance so to speak of the executive in their performance. Our position, the Chamber’s position, the business community’s position on the Public Accounts Committee is very clear; that we want it to start to meet, to start to perform its obligations as per the constitution. We didn’t get into the merits of any particular motion to that regard. What we said was that we acknowledge the efforts of the honorable Julius and that we would support his efforts and any efforts that sought to bring about proper accountability and proper functions especially of that committee as a start. But we also spoke to the oversight that was promised to the senate. It was promised that the senate would be led by strong participation or more meaningful and stronger participation from social partners. There was a promise to change the formation of the senate that suggested that the majority of the members of the senate should lie apart from those representing the government. And this to us would bring truly meaningful oversight as far as good governance and oversight is concerned in our country. So that is where we basically tried to steer the conversation today.”


According to Lizarraga, while P.U.P. Deputy Leader, Julius Espat, might have gotten an ‘F’ for legal draftsmanship, the business sector is prepared to give him an ‘A’ for effort and to support continued efforts in that direction.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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4 Responses for “Senator argues for the PAC”

  1. Love says:

    For the love of our country, Prime Minister Dean Barrow skewered the motion on technical grounds, by claiming that the concept was misguided because in every democracy the majority has the rule. This has nothing to do with rule, as the motion was only to give the Accounts committee the opportunity to do the work they are suppose to do, to keep it from being impotent. Dean we are not dumb! This committee do not and cannot make decision how the money is spent, they can only talk about how IT WAS SPENT. SO IF YOU don’t want us to know how the money was spent, then tell us where Montero, Penner, Boots, Saldivar, Finnegan and all the rest are getting $600,000 + $$$$$’s from to build their homes from, cause their salary alone CAN’T DO IT! Not to be left behind, you need to check the super MANSION Lisel the build down south and she is minister for TWO YEARS. (2 years) THE PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW. We the suffa and we know how you and Gapi the rape us! We no that fool! Media wake up, ooops sorry, your station the get crumbs cheddars! $$$$$$

  2. sickntired says:

    So ok da wah pity da pup propose this thing. But i rememba when udp was di opposition di argue fi thing like this. We vote fi udp because them mi promise we they mi weh get rid of corruption but like them turn into the old pup themself. Mr PM please rememba if we as a country will improve you need fi fight your own part corruption which we see hapoening.

  3. Initiate says:

    If the majority rules the PAC, how come it has a PUP chairman ?

    I think I can understand it must be extremely difficult to do your job – to be the chairman against a majority, and not be political.

    That’s like being the boss of the business where most of your senior staff is antagonistic.

  4. Liberty & Freedom says:

    The definition of a democracy “three wolves and a sheep wondering what is for lunch”. Barrow needs a lesson in representative government. “Love” is correct, the Barrow administration is lining their pockets on the backs of the people of Belize. There is no accountability for their actions. “Love” did not mention Barrow’s house in the USA.

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