Tue | Jul 27, 2021

PAC members blast public officials

Published:Wednesday | May 23, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament chastised public administrators for the nonchalant manner in which they have dealt with critical issues.

The scolding was prompted by revelations during a PAC meeting on Tuesday that multiple accounting officers have failed to comply with a 2015 Cabinet instruction for all shares in government companies to be transferred in the name of the accountant general.

PAC members were also annoyed that the finance ministry did not come prepared with a solution to address the inability of the Account General's Department to verify opening balances for 30-year-old accounts linked to the Consolidated Fund.

"I find it a little strange, lackadaisical - almost cavalier - that some of these issues are resolved the day before or the morning of the meeting, to try and give the committee the view that something is being acted upon. It cannot continue like this, Chairman," asserted Dr Morais Guy.

He contended: "It doesn't matter which administration; in the public sector, this seems to be the status quo. This sort of laissez-faire approach to managing the affairs of the country cannot be allowed to continue."

Mikael Phillips added that attending the PAC meeting felt like a waste of time, based on the responses of public administrators.

Everald Warmington, who is not currently a member of the PAC but attends meetings, noted that the unpreparedness of public officials has been a longstanding problem.

He explained: "Persons who appear before this committee, in most cases are not prepared. We have already sent them back to prepare and come back because what they were presenting was an insult to the committee."