Some thoughts for the newly appointed Public Accounts Committee
The inheritance of the newly appointed PAC
The nine members of the newly appointed PAC are as follows: PPP/C: Gail Teixeira (Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance), Juan Edghill (Minister of Public Works), Dharamkumar Seeraj, Vishwa Mahadeo and Sanjeev Datadin; and APNU+AFC: David Patterson, Juretha Fernandes, Ganesh Mahipaul and Jermaine Figueira. No doubt, Mr. Patterson will be the new Chairman, succeeding President Irfaan Ali when the PPP/C was in Opposition.
The PAC’s work has been badly neglected over the years, resulting in a build-up of backlogged examination of and reporting on the public accounts. The last report PAC report was in respect of the years 2012-2014. The PAC is therefore five years in arrears in relation to its work. This state of affairs is most undesirable, considering that the Government’s financial stewardship does not end until the entire public accountability cycle is completed.
The following table shows the trend in reporting by the PAC of the public accounts over the years:
Perhaps, PNCR/APNU/AFC were sound asleep so that the Public Accounts Committee's reports were neglected and left unattended since 2015.