Wed | Jan 27, 2021

Parliament needs to do better at debating critical reports - Calder

Published:Friday | December 4, 2020 | 11:00 AM
Executive Director for the Jamaica Accountability Meter Portal (JAMP), Jeanette Calder (file photo)

Executive Director for the Jamaica Accountability Meter Portal (JAMP) Jeanette Calder has pointed to a significant gap in the accountability framework of Parliament whereby lawmakers have failed to debate dozens of reports from two critical oversight committees over the last 15 years.

Participating in a forum on Thursday on the topic, ‘Following the Money: Transparency and Oversight in the Government Budget Process in Jamaica’, the anti corruption advocate charged that Parliament has not debated reports from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) in well over a decade.

She said that the PAC and PAAC look at some of the most egregious breaches and waste of government resources as well as mismanagement amounting to billions of dollars yet their reports have been tucked away gathering dust.

“We have gone back 15 years, these reports are faithfully tabled – they have never been placed on the agenda of the House for discussion and debate and for decisions to be taken holistically and comprehensively to ensure that there is no recurrence,” Calder asserted.

The JAMP head said that Parliament’s failure to debate these reports created a significant gap in the accountability framework.

Yesterday, the Caribbean Policy Research Institute in collaboration with the International Budget Partnership released the findings of an Open Budget Survey on transparency and oversight in Jamaica’s budgetary process.

She said that while the survey did not capture some areas that facilitate greater transparency in the budget process, it also did not highlight major gaps in the parliamentary process as it relates to the PAC and the PAAC and the failure of the House to debate reports submitted by them.

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