APNU+AFC threatens to name, shame and blame corrupt Government officials even as PAC’s work is held in abeyance due to absence of a quorum

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Government Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira (Left) Opposition Member of Parliament, Ganesh Mahipaul (Right)

In response to the Government’s prolonged absence from the Public Accounts Committee meetings, the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) has promised to openly review the 2018 and 2019 audit accounts and release its findings. This is according to Opposition Member of Parliament, Ganesh Mahipaul. 

“If there is need for us to name, shame and blame people attached to the People’s Progressive Party in the act of corruption, we will have to do just that,” he stated during a virtual news conference on Tuesday. 

Mahipaul asserted that the Government is hesitant to participate in the meetings because it worries that the Auditor General’s findings may reveal its alleged transgressions.

He said that as of Monday, December 12, 2022, there had been no PAC meeting for the third Monday in a row after the National Assembly had resumed from recess due to a lack of a quorum and for the sixth Monday since a motion to alter the PAC’s quorum’s makeup had been approved.

According to Government Chief Whip, Gail Teixeira, the decision to skip the meetings was made to make it clear to the opposition’s PAC members that the Government would not submit to pressure to conduct a joint examination of the annual audit reports for the years 2018 and 2019 as the opposition is determined to do.

She explained that the years of the report the opposition wants to combine are aberrations and that they adhere to the motion of no-confidence, thus the expenditure of money without the house’s consent was a significant matter. It would not be appropriate to try to rush the reports through by merging them.

Mahipaul claimed that the opposition is attempting to clear a backlog by merging the reports because the PAC barely convened to deliberate during the Eleventh parliament.

“I believe the Public Accounts Committee did not meet at all in 2019 but it met for a portion of time in 2020. As a result, the reports backed up and the last report the PAC deliberated on was for the year 2016. With the changeover of Government in 2020, the PAC revisited the 2016 report which had not been completed followed by 2017 report,” he told media operatives. 

He further stated that the merging of the reports is not unique to the Public Accounts Committee since it has been done before in the past. 

The PAC is entrusted with reviewing the yearly Auditor General’s Reports, which demonstrate the allocation of funds provided by the National Assembly to fulfill public expenditures and any other charges brought before the Assembly that the Assembly may specify.

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