Tracy Panton, as chair of the Joint Public Accounts Committee (J-PAC) of the National Assembly, has explained that an ambitious workplan has been charted. The committee’s work will soon see the participation of Dorothy Bradley, the once-and-former and the soon-to-be Auditor General. But both mass parties accuse each other of not attending meetings and taking the work of the JPAC seriously. So we asked Tracy Panton about the absence of Kareem Musa, who has not attended any of the four meetings the committee has had.
Tracy Panton, Area Representative, Albert: “I can’t say that they are not or they are. I spoke with the Hon. Member for Caribbean Shoes yesterday regarding JPAC. He indicated that somehow he is not receiving emails on the JPAC meetings. Those emails are sent out by the Clerk of the National Assembly. I know that his email is listed. But that needs to be checked if indeed that’s the case. I know that Government Ministers are busy but they can’t be too busy, particularly as it relates to providing the proper oversight and review of government expenditure.”
So we asked Kareem Musa about his absence from the JPAC meetings. Like Panton explained, Musa says he has not been getting the notices.
Kareem Musa, Minister Home Affairs: “After that last interview that I gave I did some checks. I learnt that the emails were not being passed over to me so that has been rectified. But in any event, from what I understand, they’ve had quorum each and every time at the meeting so any member’s absence has not been consequential at all up to this point because essentially the chair has not activated and has not looked at the, I think it’s the 2013, 2014 audit report. So, I think that’s where we’re stuck at. The Chairman of the JPAC has to actually make a move towards looking at those reports for us to get activated. So if any member so far has missed a meeting, it has not in any way been consequential to the work of the JPAC.”