Bill to Repeal the Public Accounts Committee Act

Late Prime Minister David Thompson led the DLP on a platform of bringing greater transparency to government in 2008.

Late Prime Minister David Thompson led the DLP on a platform of bringing greater transparency to government in 2008.

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.

Related Link:,%202014.pdf

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.

16 thoughts on “Bill to Repeal the Public Accounts Committee Act

  1. We cannot allow this government to outlaw dissent so it can hide its incompetent deeds. This is not the Middle East or some banana republic.
    Defend our freedoms, defend our democracy. March on parliament. Down with dictatorships.


    All Department in the government are in the FRAUD, Headed by good family and friends paid and over paid fools.
    Samatha Cummins NHC, Richard Byer, O”Brain Trotman ,George Edghill.UDC crooks, liars and scumbags.
    It seem BU readers will have to go back and read PLANTATION DEEDS so called ranting. We found a lot of this all over , As you can see it has to come to a point and the point is in your faces and some still cant see with the lights on , Many can see in the dark with the minds eye , when the mind is put to work and shut the mouth , Thinking is the HARDEST thing to do for most people.
    Brace your self , The PAIN in your head has just started.
    People ask us to protest in the streets,
    We say NO, There are Union leaders and Sir who now looking to retire with a nice check , and Union Dues,
    If they not looking to work for their Money and help there People or just make a statement why should We ?
    That is Union Business and the people have to care for self and agree if that is what they want to do , We will support but not incite .

  3. @Hal Austin | February 4, 2014 at 7:05 AM |
    “We cannot allow this government to outlaw dissent so it can hide its incompetent deeds. This is not the Middle East or some banana republic.”

    But Bim is fast becoming a real third world banana republic to be soon to be renamed “Bananados”.

    Can you imagine a country facing its most challenging economic period in recent history and on the verge of a major devaluation of its ‘treasured’ currency can find time to mess around to muzzle opposition and silence the organs of democracy?

    How can this beleaguered incompetent administration find time to bring legislation so hastily to Parliament but cannot find time to operationalize the IL & FOI legislation.

    What about the much promised legislation to amend the Road Traffic Act in order to deal with the widespread disorder and madness on the makeover cart roads in the Island?

    What about the amendment to the Hotels & Tourism Development Acts to make Bim a more attractive destination cost-wise (other than Sandals) and to create a more even and fair investment environment?

    What about amending the anti-litter anti-dumping regulations to make it a very serious offence with heavy penalties to despoil the environment with all sorts of threats to public health including the dumping of toxic materials in gullies and the carefree abandonment of derelict vehicles.

    “Bananados” is playing Russian roulette with its public health and potable water supply. It’s just a matter of time before the real shit hits the fan.

  4. I think we should also have a look at the amendment to the Financial Management act that is set to make up for the PAC Act’s repeal. Makes for better context.

    Interesting too is the AG’s contention that the Standing Orders still make provision for the PAC. What he failed to mention is that the ONE paragraph is as unclear with regards to composition, procedure etc. as a cloudy day at nighttime.

    If procedure was the real issue then the PAC Act should be amended to take care of that and be in line with the other parts of the Standing Order, not thrown out with the bath water.

    Today will make for an interesting debate. Let’s see if any on the government’s side fall ill or get diarrhea when it’s time to vote.

    Just Observing

  5. This all reminds me of the very POOR MANAGEMENT we have in BARBADOS! Our management lacks integrity, moral uprightness and other good qualities and this has been happening under both parties over time.

  6. Suggest everyone read the Auditor Generals Report 2012 provided to the Speaker of the House on January 31, 2013 at

    Introductory Comments, which could be described as disclaimers, include the following,,

    “The Office continues to have staffing shortages, Interviews were carried out during the year, but these are not expected to result in any increases since there is not a large available pool of auditors in the Country to draw upon. …….. I am again recommending that the authority to recruit staff should be delegated to the Office to expedite the process.”

    Some of the General Issues. include the following.

    “It has been five (5) years since Government has switched to from the cash to accrual basis for accounting, however, there continue to be considerable shortcomings in the accounts presented which have so far resulted in the Audit Office being unable to verify that the financial statements are presented fairly and in accordance with International Public Sector Accounting standards. There were numerous omissions from the financial statements presented, and these included over $150 million which was owed to the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus.

    There is a need for an urgent examination of the system of accounting currently practices by Government since, in many instances, there is no adherence to the International Public Sector Accounting Standards to which the Government has subscribed.

    The Public Accounts Committee is a Committee of Parliament established primarily to review the financial statements of state enterprises and all reports of the Auditor General that are tabled in Parliament.

    The role of the Public Accounts Committee is critical in the accountability cycle of Government. The committee can call on accounting officers and other public officials to explain issues reported in the audit reports and, if warranted, make recommendations to Parliament for corrective action. The Committee has, however, not reviewed any of the reports of the Auditor General for the past five (5) years,

    In my 2011 Report, I drew to Parliament’s attention the fact that a number of state agencies were paying pensions to former employees who were not entitled. A further review of this matter has revealed that little action has been taken to rectify the situation by statutory boards. …….. This situation has resulted in numerous persons being overpaid for a number of years”

    SO, the AG can’t get adequate staffing and can’t verify financial statements due to accounting shortcomings, and the PAC has not reviewed any of AG’s reports for for 5 years.

    What then is the point of having a PAC; or for that matter what is the point of having an AG if his reports are apparently totally ignored?

    And how can anyone lend money to Government if they cannot get financial statements in which they can place any confidence?

    The lunatics are running the asylum.

    The fiscal 2012 Report was delivered January 31, 2013. When will we see the F2013 Report?

  7. This ?????? ,can’t call it a government as they would have to be governing, are so bold face these days. Instead of focusing on the integrity legislation they are stifling the only watch dog committee …Like PAC man it has been rendered.toothless. What are they hiding?

  8. Annie

    If the Government is not hiding anything, they are surely working hard to make it look like they have something to hide. You know what they say – where there is smoke, there is fire.

  9. This is clearly one of the reasons why Mottley don’t want any procedures to be set out for the PAC. With those reports to be investigated the Government cannot get a chance to even call a meeting. But to go through reports sequentially she would be busy with the information shown on BU

  10. Where there’s a will there’s always a way.
    Dey is more dan one way too skin a cat, and even easier to skin a bald-pooched one.

    The time has long passed for this particular show to be cancelled.
    It served no purpose other than for politicians to pretend that they were concerned about how taxpayers money getting ahmn, ahmm, reallocated and ahmm…. invested for, uhmm projects and stuff.

    I say let DEM repeal. If they could repeal the last election many disillusioned supporters would be happy.

    • Does anyone know how one of the oldest parliments in the Commonwealth bungles a private members resolution to discuss the PAC?

      Well we know don’t we?

      Continue to tinker with our democracy.

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