APNU AFC “ASTONISHED” BY PPP PROPOSED AMENDMENT OF STANDARD ORDER 82-PAC

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Please see full statement:

“The Chairman and fellow opposition members of the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament of Guyana note with great concern and are astonished by the inclusion on the Order Paper for Wednesday’s sitting of Parliament, a motion submitted by the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance, a member of the said committee; to amend Standing Orders No. 95(6) which deals with the quorum for the PAC to mimic that of standing order 83(5) for the Parliamentary Management Committee, which provides for 5 members to be a quorum of which 2 represent government, 2 represent the opposition and in which the Speaker or Deputy Speaker is the Chairman.

It is important to note, the current quorum for a Public Accounts Committee meeting is three members, irrespective of party affiliation, this makes it vastly different from all other committees of the Parliament and provides for a more independent and apolitical environment.
This proposed motion by the Minister who is a member of the committee (which in fact should not have government ministers) seeks to change a quorum to five members (two members of government, two members of the opposition and the Chairman).
The Members of Parliament of the APNU+AFC note with alarm that this matter has never been discussed at the level of the PAC, although the mover of the motion is a member of the said committee. That this motion is being brought directly to the House, and not via the Standing Orders Committee, which is the long established and correct route is of grave concern.
It is noteworthy that none other than the Speaker of the National Assembly is the Chairman of the Standing Orders Committee, and he has never called a single meeting of the committee since the life of the 12th Parliament began in August 2020.

We in the APNU+AFC are confident that the effect of this motion will be that by their mere non attendance, the PPP will stymie the functioning of the PAC rendering it impotent and nonfunctional. This will impact negatively on the committees’ ability to ensure accountability and transparency in the expenditures. Since the 12th parliament, the PAC has been carrying out its mandate and meeting on every statutory date, and our work has been executed in very efficient manner. We see this as another attempt to slow down the work of the PAC by the PPP, to ensure that fewer meetings are held, and on occasions if they do not want certain agencies examined, they can now prevent that by simply not attending PAC.
We are convinced more than ever that this installed PPPc administration is not concerned with good governance, transparency and accountability of the people’s resources of this country. We call on the Speaker to act and the people of Guyana to speak out against this deliberate act to prevent scrutiny, hinder the proper examination of national expenditures and to limit the PAC’s work to hold government and accounting officers accountable.
End.”

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