Jun 04, 2023 News
…APNU says clear indicator of Govt.’s disregard for transparency and accountability
Kaieteur News – There have been at least 20 cancellations of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meetings since January 2021. According to a statement issued by the A Partnership For National Unity (APNU), the astounding number of cancellations are due to the absence of members of the government who sit on the statutory committee.
The Opposition Party noted that “The consistent absence of government members from PAC meetings, despite the need for two members from their side to establish a quorum, is a glaring display of incompetence on the part of the government. The PAC explicitly mandates the presence of two government members, two Opposition members, and the Chairman to carry out a legitimate meeting.”
Adding to the gravity of the situation, APNU noted that 16 of the 20 cancellations have occurred since the change in the quorum requirement.
“What is even more astounding,” the Opposition Party said, “is that this trend persists into 2023, with eight cancellations already recorded and counting.”
In recent times, the party said it has become the norm for the government side to be conveniently absent from these crucial gatherings, often citing emergencies as their justification.
However, APNU says this excuse raises doubts about the authenticity of their claims and reveals either a lack of adequate planning, organization, and commitment to fulfilling their responsibilities or a deliberate attempt by the government to avoid being accountable for the nation’s money.
“This recurring absence by the government side underscores a broader issue of incompetence within the current regime. Since assuming office, Guyana has been plagued by a series of unfortunate events.
Yet, the fact that the entire government cannot muster the presence of just two members for a significant PAC meeting speaks volumes about their overall lack of competence or their deliberate attempt to avoid being accountable,” the party added.
According to the party, since the PAC serves a pivotal role in financial oversight, ensuring transparency, and upholding accountability in government operations, the absence of government members not only undermines the fundamental principles of good governance, that of accountability.
“When an entire government fails to fulfill the requirement of having two members present for a crucial PAC meeting, it is an unequivocal demonstration of incompetence and an unwillingness to be accountable.
Such a failure reveals a disregard for prioritizing responsibilities, upholding democratic processes, and meeting their obligations to the public,” APNU pointed out in its statement.
In light of this persistent pattern of absence, the party noted that it is imperative to hold the government accountable for their incompetence and deliberate sabotage of the work of Parliament.
“Their consistent inability to meet the basic requirements of attending PAC meetings raises serious doubts about their ability to govern effectively and their commitment to transparency and accountability which are needed to address the pressing challenges faced by the nation,” the APNU said noting that “This lack of commitment to financial oversight and accountability necessitates that they reassess their abilities and responsibilities, or else face the consequences of their ineptitude.”
Further, the Opposition Party concluded that “the government’s continued absence from PAC meetings, despite the minimal requirement of having two members present, is a clear indicator of their significant level of incompetence and disregard for transparency and accountability.”
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