Nearly nine months following the territory’s 2019 General Elections, a new Public Accounts Committee (PAC) -the body responsible for monitoring government and its handling of the public’s purse and accounts -is yet to be formed.
According to Opposition Leader Marlon Penn in a recent interview with BVI News, he intends to have the committee up and running in the not too distant future.
“I have actually tendered a letter to the Premier and the Speaker to ensure at the next convenient sitting that the committee be formed because we all know the importance of the Public Accounts Committee and the whole issue of good governance,” said Penn who will become Chairman of the PAC as the Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition.
Penn further said the necessary procedures to get the PAC formed had already been in place for the last sitting of the House of Assembly. But due to what he described as some last-minute changes to the House’s Standing Orders, the process to form the committee was delayed.
“The report (the amendments to the Standing Orders) was laid on the table at the last sitting, and as you know, many of the items were removed from the Order Paper including that item, and it is my wish that at the next sitting, that item be put back on the table,” he said.
Penn further said the members of the PAC will also be chosen in conjunction with the forming of the committee.
“Once we’ve been formally and officially constituted in the House of Assembly, we’re looking to start work right away. It is our intention to start work right away and get the committee moving,” Penn told BVI News.
In a statement during the recent sitting of Assembly last month, Premier Andrew Fahie
advocated for the PAC to be formed in the interest of democracy.
The Premier said: “It is hoped that the Opposition will move on with the forming of the Public Accounts Committee and move along with the public expectations. I am there for you.”