Dec 06, 2021 Editorial
Kaieteur News– We thought that the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was on the right track, and had the best objectives in mind. That is, when he made a proposal for this crucial parliamentary group to meet twice weekly, so as to clear the backlog of completed audit reports waiting to be reviewed. It represented sound, commonsense thinking, which could have led to the practical outcome of more reports reviewed of how the people’s money was being spent, how procedures were followed, and how those standing in key positions of responsibility over hundreds, if not billions (cumulatively), of public works projects were delivering or failing to do so.
In view of the history of Guyana with public projects, and the people surrounding them, such as public officers, contractors, suppliers, and others, getting through the backlog of reports required more time, and agreeing on more to review and get through it (backlog) made good sense. But it was not to be, for reasons that speak to what is wrong with politics in Guyana, and the way that politicians manage the business of this country, especially the business concerning proper and timely accounting for public finances. The PAC chairman’s commendable initiative came to a dead stop, when the government majority dropped the hammer on his venture, which signalled its burial. Still, we salute him for trying, or appearing to try might be more appropriate, given subsequent developments.
For what the chairman of the PAC came up with out of nowhere was, in some sense, almost in direct contradiction to what he tried to get introduced before, through meeting twice weekly. On this occasion, what the PAC chairman put before this parliamentary group was a proposal “fast tracking review of Coalition’s spending” (KN December 01). It goes without saying that government members of the PAC immediately signalled their objections, thus it is as good as dead in the water, which is what we at this publication believe it should be.
We will not profess to know what could have been going on in the mind of the PAC chairman, but such a proposal could only be viewed in the worst possible light. First, it is his own party, which would be the prime beneficiary of such a proposal, as to what went on, what could be rushed over, and what is left undetected in the haste to make up for lost ground; and this is no matter how kindly what he proposed is looked at, or given space. Second, it conflicts with what the chairman attempted earlier, which was to get agreement for the PAC to meet twice weekly, a good and necessary thing. We say this because, on the one hand, he was seeking to expand the time for a broader and possibly more in-depth analysis of more audit material before the committee; but, on the other hand, came up with the astonishing idea of fast tracking the years when his own political group was in charge and, therefore, in charge of public spending. To put all this differently, he called for increased time, then endeavoured to narrow the focusing and probing and drilling down, all of which are part and parcel of the PAC’s work. At least, they should be, if there is a vibrant and determined PAC group dedicated to getting to the bottom of things.
In the context of Guyana’s spending on public works projects in the vast array of things to be accomplished, the record is a sordid one, a very sordid one. This is regardless of whether it has been a PPP or PNC Government running the show. Thus, fast tracking takes on the significance (and interpretation) of rush jobs, prioritising quantity over quality, and the citizens who would like to know how their tax dollars were spent are none the wiser for the skullduggeries passed over, neglected, or ignored. Given the dirty history of both the PPP and PNC with public money, fast tracking could end up concealing a litany of costly failures and corruptions at many levels.
The best we can say about that proposal from the PAC chairman was that he erred, and he does not emerge from this lapse smelling like a rose.
Jan 28, 2022Kaieteur News – The South Turkeyen Sports Committee will be hosting a pre-mash day of sports on February 6 at C Field Second Block, Sophia commencing at 09:00hrs. Teams will compete in 3-a-side...
Jan 28, 2022
Jan 28, 2022
Jan 28, 2022
Jan 28, 2022
Jan 28, 2022
Kaieteur News – David Hinds recently declared me a madman and wrote that I am compromised. Mark Benschop said the PPP... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – Rejecting the accusations of bullying and despotism that were levelled at Mia... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]