02 July, 2010

PAC Meetings

The Bermuda government and opposition have got it right.  They have amended their Rules of Procedure in their House of Assembly.  Their Public Accounts Committee meetings are now being held in public.  The Public Accounts Committee is the standing committee of the House, chaired by the leader of the opposition or his nominee, which calls in civil servants to examine them on pain of perjury on how they spent the peoples’ money.
PAC Chairman, Bob Richards
       The Bermuda PAC has regularly met for many years.  But, until now they have met in private.  Neither the press nor interested citizens have been admitted to hear the questioning.  After a long campaign by the Royal Gazette Newspaper, government and the opposition have now relented.  The discussions will no long be secret.
       There is no chance that this reform will come soon to Anguilla.  We are still several years behind in presenting the public accounts to the House of Assembly.  I seem to recall that the most recent set of audited accounts relate to the year 2006.  Opposition leader Macniel Rogers is unlikely to want to examine any public servant about the present set of accounts before the House.  After all, they relate to expenditure during the period when his administration was in power.  There is nothing he will want to quarrel about in those accounts.  He is likely to want to wait until the accounts for the year 2010 are published to call a meeting of the PAC.  On present evidence that will not happen until the year 2014.
       Will the Hubert Hughes government use its best efforts to get the PAC set up?  It is in their interest to do so, as they will have four years of accounts spread over the next four years to delve in and to expose any questionable expenditure they discover.  If they do set up the PAC, will they do their best to have it actually meet?  Will they amend the Rules of Procedure to ensure that any such hearings will take place in public?
       I, for one, am not holding my breath.  It seems to me that transparency and accountability are only electioneering slogans.


  1. Hubert seems to care about "dialogue" only when others have to do the listening.

  2. They also have no interest in saving money. Do a little math, and with all the perks the 3 APP members joining government adds anothe $400,000 per year to the budget. A totally unnecessary expense in these hard times where governments should be looking for ways to reduce government spending. Watch how quickly that $50M approved borrowing gets wasted.

  3. We are a very small failed country failed because our debt is so huge and we have no way of paying it back. This government has no intention of cutting spending so it may be better if the british sent in an administrator to run our finances, refused any more borrowing, no ministers, start afresh with a civil service that understands you can only spend what revenue you take in. i can see no other way for Anguilla to survive financially.
    I really was hoping that a change in government would suffice but now i think the British should take over our finances, civil service and government.

  4. Might be the only way to scrub the scam. - Scotty

  5. You guys are the last vestiges of the Colonialism under which you felt important, even though you were in fact only rejected 'wannabees'.

    Before the British can send an Administrator to "run our finances', they need to do two things: 1. accept responsibility for the current financial chaos in Anguilla perpetrated by the former AUF Administration under their watch and with their collusion, and 2. Fix their own financial mess. They are not in a position to criticize or dictate to anyone as they are in a worst position per capita ane per GDP than Anguilla is.

    But, you folks would wish them to step in because it grinds you that Hubert Hughes, the Champion of the ordinary People of Anguilla, a Nationalist and fervent anti-colonialist, is the Chief Minister and not your Oreo Cookie Party, the AUF.

    Come to terms with reality; the Colonial era is dead in Anguilla. Freedom is at hand. Anguilla, Bermuda, Caymans, Turks, and other Black colonies will be Free, sooner than you may wish.

    The cleansing process has begun. Power to the People of Anguilla!!!!

  6. I don't agree with the biased and twisted thinking in the last poster.

    When I see a politician equating transparency and accountability with colonialism, I fear for Anguilla. Colonialism was the opposite of transparency and accountability. It was an unaccountable dictatorship of the minority.

    Fortunately for us, the Hon Hubert Hughes has promised that he will not permit the administration to continue business as usual. I am confident that he will do as he promised and insist that the Speaker establish the Public Accounts Committee. This is his chance to call out the past administration in public and to wash their dirty laundry in public.

    This is the chance for the Hon Eddison Baird to call out the past administration over the airport overexpenditure and worse, in public.

    If they don't do it now, it will signal not a move to glorious independence but a continuation of our existing system of full internal misgovernment and maladministration.



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