The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is one of the bulwarks of parliamentary governance. It’s a “Standing Committee” – meaning it’s automatically constituted with each new Parliament by Standing Order 82(2). It gives the Opposition a guaranteed opportunity to scrutinise the Government’s spending by having them appoint the Chair. He/she can then summon any Government official the PAC desires to have explain their (mis)use of Government funds, if some hanky-panky is suspected.
So, after they were forced by the international community to abide by the results of the March 2 elections and demit office, the PNC duly appointed a Chair to the PAC. And this is where the proverbial “ka-ka” hit the fan, when they selected no one else but David Patterson. The very same Patterson who’d first denied receiving an $800,000 piece of bling as a “gift” bought with funds from the Asphalt Plant. The very same Asphalt Plant that fell under his ministerial portfolio!! Upon being presented with receipts and other “smoking gun” proof, he then recanted, shifted gears and insisted he saw nothing untoward with receiving such “gifts”!! Later, it was shown he’d also received bedroom furniture and bed sheets worth millions via the same route, and funded with taxpayers’ funds.
And this is the man the PNC wants to become the guardian of the public purse? What’s their thinking? That “it takes a thief to ketch a thief”? But your Eyewitness thinks it’s even more devious (and sinister) than that. Just as when they selected Moses Nagamootoo to represent them on “shared governance” talks with the PPP, knowing that the fella was damaged goods as far as credibility was concerned. The PNC is just trying to throw a spanner in the (governmental) works. They know the PPP would object to their eyes being poked! And an essential mechanism of good governance by the PPP would be missing.
All they had to do was select someone else from their ranks to become Chair, but the PNC have refused point blank. They’re saying that none of their other members on the Committee is qualified in tracking spending as Patterson – who’s trained in land surveying?
The PNC can’t be allowed to hold governance at ransom! The PPP has attempted to resolve the impasse by using another Standing Order, (90(4), which allows a Chair to be appointed from their ranks to act for the day, to refer the impasse back to the full house.
To which the PNC objected, saying it subverts the “guardrails” of democracy! Imagine a party that just spent five months trying to rig an election in full view of the world, talking about “guardrails of democracy”!
Is this rass-pass or what?
…on oil contract
It was only after they were dragged out of office, kicking and screaming while hanging onto the Sanctimonious Gangster’s coattails, did Khemraj Ramjattan admit there were “imperfections” in the oil contract signed by his AFC co-leader Raphael Trotman.
“Imperfections” …right!! That’s like saying that Mingo’s soiled rigging bedsheet had some “small mistakes”!! The AFC and PNC then criticised the PPP for not renegotiating the contract when the Payara licence was on the table.
But they know fully well that one does not just “renegotiate” a contract without “cause”. Such as the party negotiating on our behalf – Trotman in this case – lacked “capacity”. Or if he was bribed, or there was misrepresentation etc. The international watchdog Global Witness had recommended that Trotman’s role be investigated. If the PNC’s serious about Guyana getting a greater stake in the oil revenues, shouldn’t they spill the dirt on Trotman?
After all, these were matters that had to have come up at Cabinet meetings.
Turn the man in for the good of Guyana!
More than any other player, the PNC know that playing the race card is absolutely the worst thing for our beloved country’s progress.
Didn’t Hoyte, who had to clean up Burnham’s racist mess, concede as much?
Stop it, Harmon!