The link between the Auditor General and the PAC is significant. McGee (2002. p. 11) noted that they are intertwined both in practice and in history. The legislative reforms to create the institution of the modern Auditor General were accompanied by the procedural reforms which led to the creation of the PAC (McGee, 2002, p. 57). Therefore the capacity and performance of PACs cannot rightly be considered in separation from the capacity and performance of Auditors General – The Capacity and Performance of Public Accounts Committees
Our Members of Parliament are slated to debate a Bill to repeal the Public Accounts Committee Act today. BU could careless the reason or justification on the part of the government for tabling this matter at this time. What we care about is that governments in our post-Independence period have been unable to get the most important committee in our system of governance to work. One wonders if this is a failure of the Westminster/Whitehall system we claim to practice or an indictment of the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party; perhaps both.
It has not gone unnoticed to BU that the government has rushed this matter to parliament at a time when the Opposition has turned up the heat in its investigation of the National Housing Corporation. Why we would want to fabricate a system which shields civil servants who according to years of Auditor General Reports have been part of questionable decisions is a nonsense. Again BU takes note that President of the NUPW is an employee at the NHC rumoured to be insolvent and the den where nefarious activity is alleged to have taken place. Let us hear what PS Bascombe has to say. Why borrow to pay salaries while the Minister continued to employee yardfowls to pad popularity? Why build houses at Constant, Greens and elsewhere and unable to hand over?
Expect the usual babble from both sides in the debate which reflects the true measure of the maturity of our democracy.