Davis: PAC hasn’t met in nearly a year

Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Philip Brave Davis said the committee has not met in nearly a year and will likely not meet until after the mid-year budget debate.

“We wrote to the speaker some time ago following our first report and it doesn’t seem to make sense to do anything until I get a response from him on that letter on the scope and mandate of the PAC committee because the way the government is interpreting it, it doesn’t truly make sense for us to be in existence,” Davis told The Nassau Guardian.

He said the letter was sent to House Speaker Halson Moultrie sometime before the PAC submitted its most recent report in the House of Assembly last May.

Asked when the committee plans to reconvene, Davis replied, “I have to take that under advisement with all of these things happening now. I would have to see how the half-time debate goes, and we probably will convene sometime after that debate.”

He said the committee’s next meeting will be to see “where we are and just to update ourselves on the request made to the speaker”.

Moultrie could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The PAC is the only committee in Parliament that is controlled by the opposition. According to the rules of the House, the PAC shall consist of five members, the majority of whom must be from the opposition.

It aims to monitor Parliament’s spending and ensure the minimization of extravagance and maximization of sound financial practices on behalf of the government.

Centreville MP Reece Chipman resigned from the committee in January 2019.

In a letter to the speaker of the House, Chipman said his decision was based on, among other things, a lack of action on the part of the committee.

“Therefore, Mr. Speaker, in light of the above, as well as the absence of a House-approved terms of reference for the Public Accounts Committee, and the fact that the member for Killarney and the prime minister of The Bahamas has publicly called the Public Accounts Committee functionless, I hereby submit my resignation effective immediately,” Chipman wrote.

At the time of Chipman’s resignation, Davis said the committee had only met four times since its members were sworn in on May 2017.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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