BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, August 14, 2017 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The establishment of a functional Public Accounts Committee in St. Kitts and Nevis received tremendous support in the National Assembly as a tool that will provide an unprecedented level of accountability and transparency under the Team Unity Government.
During his rebuttal on the Public Accounts Committee Bill on Friday evening, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said this piece of legislation, which will correct a crucial aspect of good governance that went unaddressed by the Denzil Douglas administration for some 20 years, has also been welcomed the Accountant General, Mr. Levi Bradshaw.
The Accountant General is one of four persons who can be summoned as a witness by the Public Accounts Committee. The other three individuals are the Director of Audit, the Financial Secretary, and accounting officer.
Prime Minister Harris quoted Mr. Bradshaw as saying, “The tabling of the Public Accounts Committee Bill 2017 is quite a timely and important legislative initiative by the Government of St Kitts and Nevis. A functioning Public Accounts Committee has been a critical missing link in the public accountability framework of St. Kitts and Nevis under Douglas. The passage therefore of the bill would provide another opportunity to promote and strengthen accountability, transparency and good governance in the public sector.”
The Finance Minister went on to say, “Indeed the issue of a functional Public Accounts Committee, I’m quoting still, in St. Kitts and Nevis and other member states of the Eastern Caribbean has been a recurring point of extensive discussions on the agenda of the semi annual General Meeting of Public Accountants General, Budget Directors and Directors of Audit convened by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank over several years.”
The Public Accounts Committee bill was passed on Friday (August 11) after two days of heated debate.