Samuda instructs parliamentary staff to leave PAC meeting probing Petrojam audit
Livern Barrett, Parliamentary Reporter
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament was prematurely adjourned this morning after Leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives Karl Samuda instructed the Clerk and Hansard writers to withdraw from the meeting.
The committee was in the middle of its deliberations on the findings of a comprehensive audit of the state-owned oil refinery Petrojam when the staff vacated their posts.
Members of Petrojam's management team were being grilled by Opposition members when the Clerk delivered a memo from Samuda to the PAC chairman Mark Golding.
No government members of the committee were at the meeting.
"I have a memorandum here telling me that due to the fact that there was no majority decision of the committee to convene a meeting of the PAC, I have been instructed by Minister Karl Samuda to withdraw the services of the staff," Golding said reading from the memo.
In the memo, Samuda instructed the Clerk to withdraw her staff because he said that the PAC meeting was not properly convened.
Golding and opposition members disregarded the memo and continued the meeting only to discover that the staff had left.
"This is disrespectful to the Auditor General and the members of the committee present,” Golding said.
The meeting was subsequently adjourned.
Golding said that what happened at the committee meeting was a dark day in country's history.