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Opposition Leader to call PAC meeting soon

Opposition Leader to call PAC meeting soon

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Opposition Leader and President of the New Democratic Party Arnhim Eustace says that he, as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), will be calling a meeting soon to deal with issues relating to a number of financial reports.{{more}}

Eustace made this disclosure at a press conference on Monday this week, while discussing what his party believes is a ‘serious conflict of interest’ in relation to Chief Executive Officer of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA) Glen Beache’s business affiliation with the company responsible for marketing the tourism product of this country.

The Opposition Leader said that at this meeting, he will seek to discuss the late receipt of the government’s financial reports, among other issues.

“I intend to call a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee very shortly to discuss that same report and some others that I want information on.”

“I want information on ‘the Kentucky report’. I want information on what has happened with those matters we raised in relation to the Ministry of Agriculture. I’ll be calling a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee to deal with this.”

According to the Constitution of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Committee’s function is to consider accounts in the case of excess or unauthorized expenditure of public funds, or any measures it considers necessary in order to ensure that public funds are properly spent.

The committee currently consists of Opposition Leader Eustace as Chairman, along with Member of Parliament for North Leeward Roland ‘Patel’ Matthews, MP for the Northern Grenadines Dr. Godwin Friday, and MP for Central Kingstown St. Claire Leacock, on the Opposition side; and MP for South Central Windward Saboto Caesar, MP for East St. George Clayton Burgin, Senator Julian Francis, Senator David Browne, Senator Douglas Slater, and Attorney General Judith Jones Morgan, on the Government side.

There has been no meeting of the Committee since 2005, which the Chairman indicated that was due to his unpleasant experiences in terms of what can be accomplished.

“… Although I am Chairman, when you have to rule on any decision, you’re out voted.”

“The problem I had is that for years the Public Accounts Committee, which is supposed to look at the accounts of the government, are many years in arrears. As a matter of fact, I just got the documents for 2008 accounts.” (JJ)

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