PAC minority members want NSA review
The minority members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have written a letter to Philip Brave Davis, chairman of the PAC, requesting a review of the recent auditor general’s report into the National Sports Authority (NSA).
The report, which was tabled in the House of Assembly last month, found that a consultancy company was paid over $1.1 million for work that was never done; that contracts issued by the authority “lacked formalized process and transparency”; and that, at times, the NSA’s executive management “operated in contravention of the Financial Regulations”.
The letter to Davis, dated May 14, 2019, by Michael Foulkes and Adrian Gibson, notes that there has been no meeting of the committee to discuss, inquire into or investigate the report.
“There is no reasonable debate, disagreement or argument regarding the duty of the Public Accounts Committee to examine the said report, pursuant to House Rule of Procedure 17, once the (any) audited report has been tabled in the House of Assembly,” it read.
The letter notes that the minority members are “deeply concerned and distressed” by recent statements by Davis that the PAC does not intend to probe the report, “at this time”.
Taking issue with these comments, Foulkes and Gibson insisted that it is the duty of the committee to examine such audited reports and it is not for Davis to decide without a meeting of all committee members to make such a determination.
“The minority members of the PAC hereby officially and formally request that the Public Accounts Committee commence a full examination of the audited report of the National Sports Authority for the period July 2011 – December 2017, which has been tabled in the House of Assembly, with power to summon witnesses, subpoena documents and to meet from place to place and time to time,” the letter added.
However, Davis told The Nassau Guardian yesterday that he does not consider the letter an official request.
“I’ve received their letter,” he said, following a press conference at Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) headquarters.
“I didn’t see the letter as a request, I saw it more as a broadside of my views as to what our rule is.
“If they make a request we will consider it.”
Davis said he believes the letter was only written to get the attention of the press and the public.
“They are just smarting, wanting to avoid the real issue that impacts the PAC and its work,” he said.
Davis noted that the minority members made a previous request to look into the 2016 school repairs contracts but the committee has yet to receive the required information from the government on the matter.
“There’s no necessity for me to examine any audit report because, in effect, the audit report is in and of itself sufficient because that’s the audit,” he continued.
“We could examine it for future purpose or to see whether the auditor general did the right things, and the question is whether I want to engage in checking on the auditor to see what he did.
“At this time, I want us to make sure we appreciate and know what our full mandate is and not any one particular narrow mandate that they want to pursue.”
He said if a proper request is made, “we will entertain it”.