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Will the Public Accounts Committee be reshaped?

In his address Prime Minister Barrow also spoke about the implementation of the UNCAC saying it is moving full speed ahead, with multiple stakeholders participating in this national process. Barrow also said that the Integrity Commission is functioning and has already published a list of those politicians who failed to comply with their obligations under the law. Barrow also expressed challenges being faced with the expansion of the Public Accounts Committee. Senator Lizzaraga gave us is views.


Senator Mark Lizarraga

“I sent a message to the Chamber this morning I have not heard anything from them officially but I sent a message to them saying that we should accept this invitation, though one year late though it may be and that we should really see if we can help in the redrafting of this and of course I would be willing to work with the drafters in trying to come up with a piece of legislation that I believe will encapsulate what it is that we really need from an effective Public Accounts Committee. Some of the things I believe that this new piece of legislation should have is that certainly no ministers should be on that committee, you can’t police yourself and I think if we are serious about having a truly effective PAC how can you have a minister on the committee checking himself? I think we need to change the composition and I think the position of the business community in the past was certainly that government should not enjoy the supermajority. There was some discussion the last time and some agreement, I believe, as to expanding the membership on the committee where quorum could be had without government participation so in other words the government’s side would not have the ability to boycott the meetings so that the committee would not be able to meet. So those are principles I think should be enshrined in whatever piece of legislation we look at. I think that another very important point would have to be is that these meetings should be held in public. I think the public has every right to know what and how is being spent on their behalf.”