Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 11, 2017 (SKNIS): Senior Minister and Minister responsible for Labour in the Federal Government, Honourable Vance Amory, said that measures have been built in to the Public Accounts Committee Bill 2017 to protect any civil servant who is called upon to give testimony on any matter.
The Bill had its second reading on Thursday (August 10) and is being moved by Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, who said that “the Public Accounts Committee can act as a watchdog to the Parliament providing oversight on public expenditure.”
In supporting the Bill at Friday’s (August 11) sitting of the National Assembly, Senior Minister Amory stated that “the Bill is not there to sanction a charade and a humiliation of people. The Bill is there to provide an avenue and guidance to the Public Accounts Committee to illicit solid information to clear up any concerns, which the report has about the accounts of government.”
He continued: “it is not there to be badgering people in the public service. It is not there to put pressure on anybody; it is to say to them if you have been a responsible public servant and you have information which could help clear up any concern you [can] come and provide it.”
The senior minister added that the Bill empowers the PAC to function in a structured way, to conduct investigations and prepare reports to be presented to the Federal Parliament.
The Bill proposes that the PAC be chaired by the Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. Government members have hailed it as a progressive move for democracy and in keeping with the good governance agenda, which it observes.