Logistics for first Public Accounts Committee meeting being fleshed out

as COVID-19 hampers Committee members’ travel

Speaker of the House, Hon. Manzoor Nadir, says plans are in motion for the hosting of the first meeting of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Parliament.

He noted yesterday that members of several committees live in hinterland and riverine areas, and this has led to meetings of those committees being delayed.

“There are some challenges and when you’re doing the first meeting it’s like an election, you have to ensure that you can put everything in place to get all of the people who are members of those committees present, because those first meetings are a voting meeting to elect chairpersons of the committee,” the Speaker said.

He added, “we’re not only planning for the first meeting, once you have the first meeting you will see a rapid roll out of meetings. So, you want to be able to get people in far-flung places like Paruima, Shulinab, we have members of committees there and if they have to come every other week to a particular location then you will have some logistics challenges”.

The Speaker highlighted that in the event that one of the hinterland villages experiences a rise in Covid cases that calls for a lockdown, those members participation would be limited.

As such, he said, they were working out more innovative way to engage the committee members who reside in the far-flung communities.

“We are looking at setting up some means to ensure that people can participate from their homes, as I did when we had the sessions of Parliament,” Speaker Nadir said recalling his virtual participation after testing positive for COVID-19 in September.

The duties of the PAC include examining the functioning of the Auditor General and the Auditor General’s Report, as well as, nominating the members of the Public Procurement Commission. It is usually chaired by an opposition member.

There has been no Parliamentary Committee meeting since the December 2018 no confidence motion.